This article from The Independent deserves to be reproduced in full. Notwithstanding the lack of an analysis of the World Bank’s agenda with regard to its “green” projects, the article sheds an important (if nauseating!) light on the state of the Amazon and its tragic future.
World Bank pledges to save trees… then helps cut down Amazon forest. A month ago it vowed to fight deforestation. Now research reveals it funds the rainforest’s biggest threat.
By Daniel Howden
Published: 13 January 2008
The World Bank has emerged as one of the key backers behind an explosion of cattle ranching in the Amazon, which new research has identified as the greatest threat to the survival of the rainforest.
Ranching has grown by half in the last three years, driven by new industrial slaughterhouses which are being constructed in the Amazon basin with the help of the World Bank. The revelation flies in the face of claims from the bank that it is funding efforts to halt deforestation and reduce the massive greenhouse gas emissions it causes.
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One of the first people I met in Tena – that was in July 2005 – is Carita. Carita is in her mid-forties and runs quite a successful stall on the local market. There isn’t much diversity laid out on the piles of boxes and trays that make up her puesto: mountains of plantain, oranges and yucca paint a green-brown-yellow picture, sometimes accentuated by some chilli and ginger, or the odd wild fruit and herb from the forest. There are many stalls offering exactly the same goods, and no one makes anything but cents from hawking these wares. Carita’s secret of success lies hidden in plastic buckets on melting ice, tucked away in a corner beneath some trays. Quartered carcasses of armadillos, legs and heads of guantas (a large rodent), chopped fish, monkey, peccary – a gruesome sight for European eyes unaccustomed to such raw mortality beyond plastic wrapping. Bush meat is semi-legal. Many wild animal species can still legally be hunted and eaten, just not sold. So Carita gets regularly into trouble with the local police, who confiscate her buckets and feast on the delicatessen themselves.
I have no idea what is written about bush meat, only that some is, because when I reflected upon my experiences with illegal meat from the forest in the Amazon with my philosophy supervisor back in the also well rained (you may substitute reigned if you like, sorry?!) North West England, he made some references that gave it a name for me: bush meat.
That’s what we have on the plate in this blog entry: meat from the rain forest. The great thing about blogging and independent media in general is that although you have no idea what the canon states about a topic, theme or perennial problem you can just write on – no need to tilt and turn your imagination, persuade your reason and lullaby your critical faculties by reading what the rich, famous and CamOxHarYaMIT educated had to say and thereby wanted us to think about something. Open Mic, init!?!