An Yanomami Indian (R) stands near an illegal gold mine during Brazil’s environmental agency operation against illegal gold mining on indigenous land, in the heart of the Amazon Rainforest, in Roraima State, Brazil, 17 April 2016. Photo: Bruno Kelly / REUTERS

By Jake Spring; Editing by Paul Tait
31 August 2017

BRASILIA (Reuters) – Brazil’s government said late on Thursday it would suspend action on a decree opening a vast section of the Amazon rainforest to mining, backtracking in the face of activist criticism and a legal challenge.

The mining ministry said in a statement that, after consulting with President Michel Temer, it would suspend all procedures related to mining rights in the recently abolished mineral reserve for 120 days while it collects public feedback.

“Starting now, the ministry will initiate a wide debate with society about alternatives for protecting the region,” the statement said.

“(This) includes proposing short-term measures that will curb illegal activities in progress,” it said.

Last week, Temer abolished the reserve known as Renca that had protected 17,800 square miles (46,000 sq km) of Amazon forest in northern Brazil from mining since 1984. [more]

Brazil suspends Amazon mining decree in face of criticism

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