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Positive Trends
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Brazil's beef eaters morph into organic vegetarians
12 April 2019 - Brazil's budding organics market is part of a larger Latin American trend. [w]hile agribusiness may pay the country's bills, and helped elect presidents, a growing number of consumers favor eating well and treading lightly on the land over heaping their plates and topping up trade balances. The same goes for a new generation of farmers who have capitalized on the green zeitgeist to capture a retail market transitioning from boutique to booming. Organic goods businesses are boosting sales by double figures annually, according to Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation agronomist Judson Valentim ... (more)

Scatec switches on 162 MW solar plant in Brazil
29 November 2018 - Norwegian solar developer Scatec Solar has announced the completion of its 162 MW Apodi solar project in Brazil. Apodi solar park is located in the city of Quixere, in the state of Ceara. The project was selected in Brazil's second auction for renewables, which was held in 2015. (more)

Brazil's bike-friendly beachfront city Fortaleza wins major transport award
28 June 2018 - Brazil's coastal city Fortaleza won an international award on Thursday (28 June) for cutting traffic deaths and making major investments in bus and cycle lanes despite a biting recession. Brazil's fifth-largest city received the award from the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy, a New York-based think tank, for making it safer to walk, drive, and ride bikes in a time of budget constraints. (more)

Brazilian consumers lend farmers a hand to go organic
21 June 2018 - Every week, farmer Thiago Kaiser fills his truck with dozens of boxes of organic food to be delivered directly to those who will eat it in Brasilia, Brazil's capital city. Kaiser is one of a growing number of Brazilian farmers paid by customers to grow organic fruit and vegetables through a shared-production system. His farm does not sell any of its produce on the open market, including restaurants and supermarkets. (more)

New projects in Brazil's Amazon? Not without congressional approval, says court
9 April 2018 - Brazil's government has been told that development projects, including hydropower dams, in protected areas can no longer go ahead without the prior approval of lawmakers. Campaigners said the decision should ensure the country's forests and reserves, including the Amazon rainforest, were better protected. 'This decision puts an end to a spree of provisional measures in the name of environmental de-protection,' said Mauricio Guetta, a lawyer at Instituto Socioambiental (ISA), an advocacy group. (more)

Germany, Britain inject $153 million in Amazon climate change fight
14 November 2017 - Germany and Britain will provide a combined $153 million to expand programs to fight climate change and deforestation in the Amazon rainforest, according to a statement from the Brazilian government on Tuesday (14 November). For the first time, the program will grow to include the state of Mato Grosso, Brazil's top producer of soy beans, where the rapid expansion of soy and beef farms have made it a hotspot for deforestation. (more)

Brazil scraps bid to mine Amazon natural reserve
26 September 2017 - The Brazilian government backed off a controversial proposal to authorize private companies to mine a sprawling Amazon reserve Monday after blistering domestic and international criticism. The Renca reserve is home to the indigenous Aparai, Wayana, and Wajapi tribes and vast swaths of untouched forest, covering more than 17,800 square miles. (more)

Emerald weighing more than 600 pounds found in Brazil
23 May 2017 - Miners have found a 4.3-foot (1.3-meter) tall emerald weighing more than 600 pounds (272 kilograms) in Brazil's northeastern state of Bahia. Paulo Santana of Brazil's National Mineral Production Department said the emerald was found about 20 days ago...Santana said it was the second large emerald found in the region. The first one was 44 pounds heavier and was valued at more than $300 million when it was unearthed in 2001. (more)

Brazil's Mato Grosso leads push for GM-free soy
11 May 2017 - A movement to replace genetically modified soybeans with conventional seeds is gaining traction in Brazil's largest soy-producing state of Mato Grosso as farmers anticipate growing demand from Asia and Europe. Wininton Mendes, coordinator of a program to promote use of conventional seeds run by Mato Grosso growers and the government agricultural research agency Embrapa, said doubts related to the impact of GM food on human health is one driver behind demand for conventional raw materials. (more)

Brazil: The man who planted a tree and grew a whole family of forests
21 March 2017 - When Antonio Vicente bought a patch of land in São Paulo state and said he wanted to use it to plant a forest, people called him crazy. In 1973 forests were seen by many as an obstacle to progress and profit. Maintaining forests are essential for water supplies because trees absorb and retain water in their roots and help to prevent soil erosion. So with some donkeys and a small team, he worked on his little patch -- 31 hectares (77 acres) of land that had been razed for grazing cattle -- and set about regenerating. More than 40 years later, Vicente -- now 84 -- estimates he has replanted 50,000 trees on his 31 hectare Serra da Mantiqueira mountain range property. Vicente said, 'I didn't do it for money, I did it because when I die, what's here will remain for everyone.' He adds, 'People don't call me crazy any more.' (more)


Success of Maharishi's Programmes
Short Summaries of Top Stories


Brazil: Maharishi University of Management faculty assist in introducing integrative medicine
30 August 2018 - Brazil is one of the first non-Asian nations to introduce integrative healthcare into the national healthcare system, and faculty of Maharishi University of Management, USA are significantly contributing to the initiative. This year professors Robert Schneider, Sandy Nidich, and John Fagan spoke in Brazil at the 1st International Congress of Complementary and Integrative Medicine in Public Health, and MUM President John Hagelin and Professor Fred Travis sent presentations. 'This initiative by the federal government of Brazil is real,' Dr Schneider said. 'This is a major step of government implementation that will entail bringing Maharishi Ayur-Veda, Transcendental Meditation, and other prevention-oriented, natural health approaches to the people of the country through their national health care system.' (more)

Brazil: Health Ministry hosts 1st International Congress of Complementary and Integrative Medicine in Public Health / 3rd International Ayurveda Congress
11 July 2018 - In Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 4,000 delegates recently participated in the historic 1st International Congress of Complementary and Integrative Medicine in Public Health, in which the 3rd International Ayurveda Congress formed a key part. The Ministry of Health of Brazil, while promoting the 1st International Congress of Complementary and Integrative Medicine in Public Health, had the honour to host and support the 3rd International Ayurveda Congress. The 1st International Congress marked the collaboration of important government health organizations. It also received support from the All India Ayurveda Congress, the International Academy of Ayurveda, the International Maharishi AyurVeda Foundation, and the Fundacion Maharishi de Latino America. (more)

Brazil: TM 'made me a better athlete . . . made me a better person' - Olympic medalist Flavio Canto
26 October 2016 - Flávio Canto is a Brazilian judoka and jiu jitsu black belt who won the bronze medal at the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens and three medals at the Pan American Games. He attributes his success and focus to practising Transcendental Meditation since 1995. In 2003 he founded Instituto Reação, a non-governmental organization that promotes human development and social inclusion through sports and education, transforming underprivileged kids into 'black belts' on and off the mat. TM helps institute students relieve stress and achieve the inner equilibrium required to excel both inside and outside the classroom. One student says: 'TM makes me feel relaxed, feel lighter, like if I could fly among the clouds. I was able to focus better on my studies, understand more about my life and reflect what I can become someday.' (more)

Rio de Janeiro's elite police learning Transcendental Meditation in preparation for 2016 Olympics
24 November 2015 - With Olympic Games just a year ahead, the pressure is mounting on Rio de Janeiro police. Security has remained a major challenge in preparation for the grand international event. To prevent stress-induced burnout, last week a group of 400 Rio police officers started a course of Transcendental Meditation. An official explained that a policeman who is less stressed will have a better capacity to make decisions. If TM is proven to reduce the stress, the goal is to expand teaching the technique to the whole troop. The courses are supported by the David Lynch Foundation, which was founded to prevent and eradicate the effects of traumatic, toxic stress among at-risk populations. (more)

Leader of Amazonian tribes to launch programmes for traditional peoples
24 November 2010 - A major leader of Amazonian tribes, who has worked to unify them and protect their traditional cultural values, expressed his intention to launch, in conjunction with the World Federation of Traditional Kings, a programme for the promotion of the region's traditional people. The World Federation is an initiative of the Global Country of World Peace. (more)

Safeguarding the knowledge of traditional peoples to benefit the world
24 November 2010 - The recent visit of Haru Kuntanawa, a great leader of Amazonian tribes, inspired deep appreciation among leaders of the Global Country of World Peace in MERU, Holland. That the knowledge of the traditional peoples has been safeguarded and protected deep in the Amazon forests is 'heartening and inspiring', commented a young Global Country leader in the field of culture. And now that knowledge is coming out into the world and is being shared with others. (more)

Brazilian TV news features Transcendental Meditation in Paul McCartney report
19 November 2010 - On Friday, 19 November, a prime time Brazilian TV news show covered the recent visit of Paul McCartney to the city of Sao Paulo, a report which included a three-minute segment on the Transcendental Meditation Programme. Nearly 60 million people viewed the broadcast, which described benefits of the technique in reducing stress and improving brain functioning. (more)

Agence France-Presse report: TM program helps de-stress schools in Brazil
14 November 2010 - Improved grades and better test scores, reduced stress and less anxiety, greater happiness and more inner peace. That is the forecast for more than one million students attending 1,000 public schools in Brazil's second-largest city, Rio de Janeiro, who will soon get the chance to practise Transcendental Meditation twice daily during class. This news was recently reported by the international wire service Agence France-Presse. (more)

Maharishi University of Management partners with college in Rio
17 June 2010 - An agreement to offer a joint MBA program with a Brazilian college will afford Maharishi University of Management students the opportunity to study in Rio de Janeiro. (more)

Media in Brazil report benefits of Transcendental Meditation for cardiovascular health
17 November 2009 - The Transcendental Meditation Programme not only reduces stress, but recent research shows that it lowered risk of heart attack, stroke, and death by nearly 50 per cent in patients with coronary heart disease. A local couple in Brazil also shares the benefits they've experienced in their lives. (more)


Flops
Short Summaries of Top Stories


Satellite data shows Amazon deforestation rising under Brazil's Bolsonaro
4 June 2019 - Deforestation of the Amazon rainforest in Brazil sped up in May to the fastest rate in a decade, according to data from an early-warning satellite system, as experts pointed to activity by illegal loggers encouraged by the easing of environmental protections under President Jair Bolsonaro. ... 'If this upward curve continues, we could have a bad year for the Amazon forest,' Claudio Almeida, head of [Brazilian space research institute] INPE's satellite monitoring program, said on Tuesday [4 June]. (more)

Brazil led world in rainforest losses in 2018 despite decline from 2017: research group
26 April 2019 - Brazil led the world in rainforest destruction last year, although deforestation in South America's largest country fell by 37 percent compared to 2017, according to an independent forest monitoring network. Brazil lost 13,471 square kilometers (5,201 square miles) of rainforest in 2018, an area nearly the size of the U.S. state of Connecticut ... Losses of old-growth forest, which are key to preserving biodiversity, in particular fell after two years of historic fires, but still remain elevated above levels earlier in the decade, according to the Global Forest Watch data released on Thursday [25 April]. The Democratic Republic of the Congo ranked second. (more)

Deadly Brazil dam burst likely had same cause as previous one: official
1 February 2019 - The collapse of a Brazilian dam controlled by miner Vale a week ago likely happened because parts of the sand and dried-mud structure dissolved into liquid, a state regulator said in an interview, similar to what caused another deadly mining disaster less than four years ago. (more)

Brazil has nearly 4,000 dams at high risk: minister
29 January 2019 - Brazil has nearly 4,000 dams that are classified as having 'high damage potential' or being at high risk, with 205 of those dams containing mineral waste, the country's Regional Development Minister Gustavo Canuto said on Tuesday (29 January). ... A tailings dam at an iron ore mine owned by Vale SA in Minas Gerais state that burst last week has killed at least 65 and left nearly 300 missing. (more)

Hundreds missing after Vale dam burst at Brazil mine
25 January 2019 - Brazilian rescuers were searching for some 200 missing people after a tailings dam burst on Friday (25 January) at an iron ore mine owned by Vale SA, the second major dam disaster involving the company in just over three years. Seven bodies had been recovered by nightfall, said Avimar de Melo Barcelos, the mayor of the town of Brumadinho where the dam burst in the mining-heavy state of Minas Gerais. The toll was expected to rise sharply. (more)

Scientists warn new Brazil President may smother rainforest
26 November 2018 - Scientists warn that Brazil's President-elect could push the Amazon rainforest past its tipping point -- with severe consequences for global climate and rainfall. Jair Bolsonaro, who takes office January 1, claims a mandate to convert land for cattle pastures and soybean farms, calling Brazil's rainforest protections an economic obstacle. (more)

Deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon reaches decade high
23 November 2018 - The destruction of Brazil's Amazon rainforest reached its highest level in a decade this year, government data released on Friday (23 November) showed, driven by illegal logging and the encroachment of agriculture on the jungle. Deforestation is a key factor behind global warming, accounting for around 15 percent of annual emissions of heat-trapping gases, similar to that of the transportation sector. (more)

Brazil court overturns ban on weed-killer glyphosate
3 September 2018 - A Brazilian court on Monday (3 September) overturned an injunction banning products containing the popular weed-killer glyphosate, knocking down a previous ruling ... A Brazilian judge ruled last month to halt the registration of new glyphosate-based products in the country and to suspend existing registrations after 30 days, until health agency Anvisa issues a pending ruling on its safety. ... The injunction and the subsequent reversal also applied to insecticide abamectin and fungicide thiram. (more)

Brazilian lawmakers seek to deregulate pesticide use, ban organic produce sales
14 August 2018 - Brazilian lawmakers have reportedly resurrected a 2002 bill that would severely reduce the role of government health and environment departments in authorizing new pesticides, the Los Angeles Times reported. A second bill would ban the sale of organic foods to supermarkets and other major retail outlets. Environmentalists and other opponents of the proposed changes say that deregulation would increase a range of health problems linked to pesticide exposure -- including cancer and infertility -- and contaminate soil and water. (more)

Brazilian lawmakers seek to deregulate pesticide use and ban sale of organic produce in major supermarkets
12 August 2018 - Brazilian lawmakers ... have resuscitated pro-pesticide legislation that had languished well over a decade. The main proposal was dubbed the 'poison package' by environmentalists when it was introduced in 2002. It would severely reduce the role of health and environment authorities in authorizing new pesticides, leaving the job to the Agriculture Ministry. A second bill would ban the sale of organic foods to supermarkets and other major retail outlets. It was approved in early July by an agriculture commission in the lower house but must get through another congressional commission before a full vote. (more)

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