What’s behind the rise in the Amazon's deforestation—and who is trying to stop it? Experts explored the politics and economics of the Amazon today. ... Play Video
Juliana Barbassa, Director of Policy, Americas Society/Council of the Americas; Managing Editor, Americas Quarterly
Stephan Schwartzman, Senior Director, Tropical Forest Policy, Environmental Defense Fund
Maria Antonia Tigre, Senior Attorney, Environment Program, Cyrus R. Vance Center for International Justice
Brian Winter, Vice President of Policy, Americas Society/Council of the Americas; Editor-in-Chief, Americas Quarterly (moderator)
After years of declining deforestration rates, the Amazon is once again being cleared at a heightened pace. AS/COA's Brian Winter moderated an expert panel in New York which discussed the factors at play both protecting and endangering the Amazon.
Americas Quarterly's Juliana Barbassa explained how economics establishes political agendas, often rendering environmental protection as a low priority during times of economic crisis. She also placed deforestation within the context of the current Brazilian presidential administration, which has close ties with the agro-industrial lobby. Environmental Defense Fund's Stephan Schwartzman spoke about the Amazon's invaluable role in preventing climate change, and how Brazil's network of indigenous-controlled areas succeeded. Maria Antonia Tigre from the Cyrus R. Vance Center for International Justice analyzed the legal devices for protecting the Amazon, and how national subsidy programs provide incentives for protecting forested areas in Amazonian properties. She also emphasized how the Amazon forest crosses nine national borders, and how one country's engagement with the Amazon affects them all, creating a political ecosystem in itself.