Down to Earth

Amazon rainforest pays heavy price for Brazil's political crisis

After promising signs that Brazil's Amazon was recovering from a devastating period of deforestation, alarm bells have been set off again. The number of hectares of felled forest is on the rise and fingers are being pointed directly at the country's leadership. To stay in power, President Michel Temer needs the support of a bloc known as ruralistas, which represent powerful, wealthy agribusiness interests. In general, the ruralistas oppose environmental laws that protect the forest.