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The women on the front lines of safeguarding the Amazon
26 August 2021 - Indigenous women are important conservation leaders in the Amazon, and also recently played key roles in mobilizing responses to the COVID-19 pandemic's effects on isolated Indigenous communities. Here are some highlights from among the dozen-plus features of these inspiring women from across the Amazon Basin. (more)

Traditional healers are preserving their knowledge, and with it, the biodiversity of Brazil's savanna
12 March 2021 - The Brazilian savanna contains almost a third of Brazil's biodiversity but less than 10 percent is officially protected and its native vegetation is threatened by a rapidly-advancing agricultural frontier. Much of the flora and fauna remain unknown to conventional science. A network of traditional healers is at the forefront of finding ways to protect, sustainably manage, and document the biodiversity based on their in-depth knowledge of medicinal plants. (more)

Agroforestry and land reform give Brazil cacao farmers sweet taste of success
24 February 2021 - In the 1990s, witches' broom disease, a fungal outbreak, devastated cacao crops in the south of Brazil's Bahia state, leaving many farms abandoned. The outbreak [left] more than 150,000 farmers unemployed in what had been Brazil's main cacao-producing region since the 18th century. About 30,000 farms went bankrupt. Yet despite this downturn, there was a bright spot. The community reestablished the agroecological system known as cabruca, in which farmers plant cacao trees and other crops without clearing native forest. (more)

Amazon tribes are using drones to track deforestation in Brazil (+ CNN video)
1 September 2020 - Awapy Uru Eu Wau Wau grew up deep inside the Amazon rainforest. Awapy and representatives from five other indigenous communities took part in a drone-operating training course run by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and Brazilian NGO, the Kaninde Ethno-Environmental Defense Association, last December. The drones create high-resolution images, video, and GPS mapping data which can be used as evidence when reporting illegal activities to the authorities. (more)

Deforestation in Brazil's Amazon two-thirds lower on titled indigenous land
10 August 2020 - Granting secure land tenure to indigenous forest communities in Brazil's Amazon is a key way to stem rising deforestation rates in the world's largest rainforest, researchers said on Monday [10 August]. Scientists consider protecting the Amazon rainforest vital to slow global climate change because of the vast amounts of planet-warming carbon dioxide its trees absorb. (more)

Brazil's indigenous seed collectors in demand for forest restoration
3 July 2020 - Since 2008, more than 560 collectors -- most of them women -- have gathered almost 250 tonnes of seeds from 220 native species as part of an effort now known as the Xingu Seed Network. The work has helped them earn an income, reconnect with their forests, and restore more than 6,600 hectares of degraded land, according to Ashden, a British charity that this week awarded the group one of its sustainability prizes for 2020. (more)

Brazilian farmers hatch a plan to send healthy food to the favelas
24 May 2020 - Small organic food producers like Rafael Duckur, mostly rely on the community-supported agriculture (CSA) model, selling directly to consumers on a small scale. The pandemic has meant the loss of some business -- sales to public schools and restaurants, for instance -- but their customer base is solid. Unsold produce goes to waste, however, as a matter of course. Duckur wants to bring that surplus to those who need it, while supporting his fellow growers. So in mid-March, as Duckur put out a call on Instagram for help creating boxes of free food and finding those who needed them most. 'We, organic producers, know the healing power of good food,' he wrote. (more)

These blue macaws help grow the forest around them, a new study finds
12 April 2020 - A new study has revealed how the hyacinth macaw (Anodorhynchus hyacinthinus) and Lear's macaw (Anodorhynchus leari) help spread the seeds of 18 plant species in Brazil and Bolivia. Researchers used direct observation and camera traps to record more than 1,700 fruit dispersal events by the two macaw species. Both species have the strongest beaks in the Psittacidae family of true parrots, capable of easily breaking open the large fruits of different palm trees. (more)

Flying high: Brazilian tribe keeps watch over forest with drones
7 March 2020 - Indigenous forest defenders are turning to technology to watch out for illegal loggers and others who threaten their land. The preservation of the Amazon rainforest is seen as vital to slow global warming, as trees absorb carbon dioxide -- the main heat-trapping gas -- from the air and store the carbon until they are cut down and burned, or rot. (more)

Solar energy expands quickly in Brazil
22 February 2020 - Beside the green pastures and sugarcane plantations surrounding the farming town of Porto Feliz is the strange sight of hundreds of blue, silicon panes turned towards the sun. Such 'distributed generation,' or DG, operations are quickly multiplying in Brazil as investors bank on the long hours of strong sunlight across the continent-sized country, a late adopter of solar technology, and enjoy subsidies that have been pared back in countries like the United States. (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)

Short Summaries of Top Stories

Deforestation in Brazilian Amazon hits highest annual level in a decade
20 August 2021 - Deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon has hit the highest annual level in a decade, a new report has shown, despite increasing global concern over the accelerating devastation since President Jair Bolsonaro took office in 2019. Between August 2020 and July 2021, the rainforest lost 10,476 square kilometers ... according to data released by Imazon, a Brazilian research institute that has been tracking the Amazon deforestation since 2008. The figure is 57 percent higher than in the previous year and is the worst since 2012. (more)

Lear's macaws threatened by planned wind farm in Brazil, experts warn
8 July 2021 - Conservationists in Brazil have raised alarms about the impact of a wind farm being built in a region that's the last stronghold of the endangered Lear's macaw. Conservationists warn that the birds may collide with the turbines, especially because they fly at dawn and dusk, when visibility is poor. ... Despite [French renewable energy developer] Voltalia's stated commitment to the Lear's macaw, the highly threatened mascot of the Caatinga, the project faces criticism because its impact studies will only be done after the wind farm goes into operation. (more)

May deforestation in the Amazon hits 14-year high, with 4 days of data still to process
6 June 2021 - Deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon rose sharply in May, reports the country's national space research institute INPE. Deforestation in May was the highest for any May dating back to at least 2007. The next highest May on record is May 2008, when 1,096 square kilometers was cut down. Scientists are bracing for a bad fire season in the southern and eastern Amazon due to below average rainfall during the most recent rainy season. A resurgence of fire and deforestation in the Amazon is heightening concerns about the fate of Earth's largest rainforest, which some researchers say could be approaching a point where vast areas transition toward drier habitat. (more)

In Brazil's Amazon, rivers rise to record levels
1 June 2021 - Rivers around the biggest city in Brazil's Amazon rainforest have swelled to levels unseen in over a century of record-keeping, according to data published Tuesday by Manaus' port authorities, straining a society that has grown weary of increasingly frequent flooding. (more)

Brazil on drought alert, faces worst dry spell in 91 years
28 May 2021 - Brazil's government agencies warned of droughts this week as the country faces its worst dry spell in 91 years, increasing fears of energy rationing, hitting hydroelectric power generation and agriculture while raising the risk of Amazon fires. (more)

Brazil's Amazon deforestation surged in April after pledges
7 May 2021 - Preliminary data released Friday [7 May] signaled deforestation of Brazil's Amazon in April was the highest for that month in at least five years, a report that comes two weeks after Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro said his government would dedicate more energy and resources toward curbing deforestation. (more)

Brazil fires threaten world's largest wetland
18 August 2020 - Flames are ravaging Brazil's Pantanal, the world's largest wetland, approaching the region's main highway and threatening endangered species amid a near-record number of fires. ... The Pantanal is 10 times the size of the Everglades wetlands in the U.S. state of Florida. The region is one of the most biodiverse places on the planet with more than 4,700 plant and animal species, including threatened ones like the jaguar, according to advocacy group WWF [World Wide Fund for Nature]. (more)

Fires in Brazil's Amazon rainforest surge in July, worst in recent days
1 August 2020 - The number of fires in Brazil's Amazon rainforest jumped 28% in July from a year ago, official data showed on Saturday, as some environmentalists warned a jump this week could signal a repeat of last year's surging destruction of the world's largest rainforest. Brazil's space research agency Inpe recorded 6,803 fires in the Amazon last month, up from 5,318 in July 2019. (more)

Brazil passes 1 million coronavirus cases with no end in sight
19 June 2020 - Brazil passed 1 million coronavirus cases on Friday [19 June] and approached 50,000 deaths, a new nadir for the world's second worst-hit country as it struggles with a tense political climate and worsening economic outlook. ... The virus has spread relentlessly across the continent-sized country, eroding support for right-wing President Jair Bolsonaro and raising fears of economic collapse after years of anemic growth. (more)

Brazil's military unsuccessful in taming rising Amazon deforestation in May
12 June 2020 - Deforestation in Brazil's Amazon rainforest rose for a 13th consecutive month in May, government data showed on Friday [12 June], despite President Jair Bolsonaro's deployment of the military to fight soaring environmental destruction in the region (more)


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