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Colombia launches military push against narco gangs slashing forests for coca plants

Apo - Colombia's Defense Minister said Monday the military will step up an offensive against drug trafficking gangs responsible for clearing thousands of hectares of protected national parks for coca plantations.

Bolsonaro's Amazon 'dream' is indigenous 'nightmare'

Rio De Janeiro - Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has unveiled a sweeping plan for the Amazon rainforest that would open indigenous lands to mining -- a "dream" for the far-right leader, but a "nightmare" for environmentalists and tribal leaders.

Mexican conservationist found dead two weeks after disappearance

Mexico - A Mexican conservationist known for championing the protection of monarch butterflies was found dead two weeks after his disappearance, authorities said.

Glass frogs reappear in Bolivia after 18 years

La Paz - A rare species of frog native to the eastern slopes of the Bolivian Andes has been spotted in the South American country for the first time in 18 years, the investigation team that made the discovery told AFP.

One year on, Brazil town remembers 270 killed in dam breach

Brumadinho - Residents of Brumadinho in southeastern Brazil paid homage on Saturday to the 270 people killed one year ago when a nearby dam burst, spewing millions of tons of mining waste over homes and farmland in one of the country's worst industrial accidents.

Peruvian police arrest Belgian with 20 wild birds in suitcase

- Peruvian police have arrested a Belgian man at Lima Airport for trying to smuggle 20 live birds to Europe in his suitcase, the National Forest and Wildlife Service said Wednesday.

Colombian botanist risking his life to preserve nature's memory

La Calera - For the last three decades, botanist Julio Betancur has braved minefields and penetrated deep into jungle territory infested with drug traffickers and armed gangs in a bid to document Colombia's rich biodiversity.

'Not a single species' affected by Galapagos fuel spill

Quito - The Galapagos Islands' unique wildlife was spared after a barge carrying 600 gallons of diesel fuel sank, causing a spill, the Ecuador government told AFP Monday.

Falls and fun at eco-friendly 'ice' rink in Mexico

Mexico - Mexico is better known for cactus-dotted deserts and Caribbean beaches than winter sports, but the capital's central square is celebrating winter with an enormous, eco-friendly artificial ice rink.

DiCaprio denies Bolsonaro accusation of link to Amazon fires

S - American actor Leonardo DiCaprio on Saturday denied a claim by Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro that he had helped fund groups allegedly linked to fires in the Amazon rain forest.

Revised data shows deforestation in Brazil Amazon at decade high

Bras - Brazil on Thursday released revised statistics showing deforestation in the Amazon rainforest surpassed 10,000 square kilometers (3,860 square miles) in the year to July 2019, the highest in more than a decade.

Brazil races to clean up oil-stained beaches before peak tourism season

Recife - Months after thick oil began turning idyllic beaches in Brazil into "black carpets," workers and volunteers wearing rubber gloves race against time to scrape off the remaining fragments ahead of the country's peak tourism season.

Ghost towns emerge from toxic mud of Brazil mining disaster

Mariana - Four years ago a dam holding back mining waste collapsed, triggering the worst environmental disaster in Brazil's history.

Picture of oil-stained Brazilian boy goes viral

Cabo De Santo Agostinho - A boy walks ashore in Brazil in filthy waist-high water with a look of exasperation and his body smeared in oil, a photographer takes a shot, and the image goes viral.

Amazon river dolphins threatened by mercury pollution

S - Amazon river dolphins are showing alarming levels of contamination mainly because of illegal panning for gold, conservationists say.

Rights group says Bolsonaro gives 'green light' to Amazon illegal loggers

S - Human Rights Watch on Tuesday accused Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro of giving a "green light" to illegal loggers to destroy the Amazon and failing to protect those defending the world's largest rain forest.

Amazon's 'tallest tree' safe from fires, say scientists

S - Intrepid Brazilian and British scientists say they have located the Amazon's tallest tree in northern Brazil, untouched by a spate of wildfires that have raged in the rainforest for weeks.

Bolivia's fires destroy 'heritage' rock art sites

La Paz - Wildfires that have raged across forests and grassland in eastern Bolivia for weeks have destroyed rare rock art sites, archeologists announced Tuesday.

Brazil president to skip Amazon summit on doctor's orders

S - Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro will skip a regional summit on fires that have devastated swaths of the Amazon because doctors want him to get ready for surgery scheduled for next week, a spokesman said Monday.

Brazil's Amazon basin fires keep surging

S - The number of fires in Brazil's Amazon basin is still on the rise, even though the government has banned burning, officials said Saturday.

Peru, Colombia propose emergency Amazon summit as fires blaze

- Peru and Colombia proposed on Tuesday an emergency Amazon summit for countries in the region in order to coordinate a strategy to protect the vast rainforest currently blighted by numerous fires.

Brazil farmers deforesting Amazon 'to survive'

Porto Velho - On his block of land deep in the Amazon rainforest, Aurelio Andrade says deforestation is the only way he and other farmers can survive in the remote region where fires are raging.

Mexico City declares air pollution alert

Mexico - Mexico City declared an environmental alert Tuesday as a blanket of smog enveloped the sprawling urban area of 20 million people for a fourth straight day.

Japanese man jailed for smuggling insects from Ecuador

Quito - A Japanese man was sentenced to two years in prison in Ecuador for attempting to smuggle a massive haul of creepy crawlies out of the country, officials said Thursday.

Unfroggetable: endangered Bolivian amphibians get long-awaited first date

La Paz - The fate of a species may just rest on this love story.

From tree killing beetles to crop disease: Central America's struggles with drought

Valle De - Honduran conservationists are worried. A deadly insect that wiped out more than a quarter of the Central American country's conifers between 2013 and 2017 is back.

Duque asks court to allow banned weedkiller on cocaine

Apo - President Ivan Duque asked Colombia's constitutional court Thursday to modify a ban on aerial spraying of the herbicide glyphosate in order to tackle record cocaine crops."My respectful request is for the decision to be modified...

Peru opens military base to protect Amazon from deforestation

Tambopata - Peru opened a military base in the Amazon on Tuesday in a bid to tackle illegal mining, the main culprit for deforestation in the world's largest rainforest.

Brazilian indigenous community threatened in aftermath of dam burst

Citrolandia - In her 88 years, Antonia Alves has seen much hardship as a member of Brazil's indigenous community, whose people have often been driven from their ancestral lands over conflicts with farmers and loggers.

Model Bundchen 'surprised' by Brazil minister criticism on environment

S - Brazilian supermodel Gisele Bundchen on Wednesday defended her work as an environmental activist, after the country's new agriculture minister accused her of issuing criticism "without knowledge.
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