To whom so ever the team Norvergence LLC has talked about Amazon deforestation and wildfires; everyone is focused on its broader impact i.e. on global warming and atmospheric carbon. Of course, it is a good thing.
But, specifically in this blog post, George Stacey who is an environmentalist at Norvergence tries to showcase the real picture behind the scene or in simple words the man or firm that is responsible for the Amazon deforestation and wildfires.
This blog post is based on the research conducted by the author Ryan Grim for the online news publication called, “The Intercept”.
In August 2019, Ryan has published a detailed blog post titled, “A top financier of Trump and Mcconnell is a Driving Force behind Amazon Deforestation.”
The team Norvergence has gone through this informative piece thoroughly and carried out its extensive research to further explain this sensitive topic.
Norvergence: The Controversial Amazon Terminal
Two main Brazilian firms in an order to ease the export of soybeans and grains destroyed the forest to some extent and build a controversial highway that is joined with the new terminal from where the cargo (filled with soya beans and grains) is shipped across the globe.
The terminal is run by Hidrovias do Brasil, a company that is owned (largely) by Blackstone, a US investment firm.
Also, Pátria Investimentos, one more company that is owned by Blackstone which owns more than 50 percent of Hidrovias is on the radar for deforestation issues.
On the other side, Blackstone has completely denied any case of environmental degradation. The company said in an official statement, “Blackstone is committed to responsible environmental stewardship. This focus and dedication is embedded in every investment decision we make and guides how we conduct ourselves as operators.”
“In this instance, while we do not have operating control, we know the company has made a significant reduction in overall carbon emissions through lower congestion and allowed the more efficient flow of agricultural goods by Brazilian farmers.”
Norvergence: The Story of B.R.-163 Highway
At the starting of 2016, Hidrovias has released a statement according to which the company would begin using B.R.-163 highway in an order to export soybeans from Mato Grasso. The government of Jair Bolsonaro announced in 2016 that Hidrovias would be an official partner of the government in the privatization and development of B.R.-163 highway.
The Financial Times reported that “Every year between 2004 and 2013 — except 2005 — while deforestation in Amazonia as a whole fell, it increased in the region around the B.R.-163.”
Norvergence: Bolsanaro Government under Radar
Francisco Umanari, a 42-year-old Apurinã chief, told Alexander Zaitchik, “With Bolsonaro, the invasions are worse and will continue to get worse. His project for the Amazon is agribusiness. Unless he is stopped, he’ll run over our rights and allow a giant invasion of the forest. The land grabs are not new, but it’s become a question of life and death.”
Norvergence: The Connection between Jair Bolsanaro and Blackstone
Directly or indirectly, Jair Bolsanaro has always got support from the Blackstone. In May 2019, the president has traveled to New York and got honored at Gala. Interestingly, the event was organized by Refinitiv, the company that is majorly owned by the Blackstone.
Looking at the current relationship and scenario, the future of the Amazon rainforest seems to be in danger until some international organizations or the UN addresses the issue.