Saturday, July 08, 2006

PHOSPHATE MINING THREATENS CRESTED EAGLES (MORPHNUS GUIANENSIS) IN SOUTHERN BRAZIL

The rare and elusive Crested Eagle (Morphnus guianensis) can still be seen in Santa Catarina’s Serra Geral. But its days in the region are counting down. While in some sectors of the area the Brazilian Atlantic Rain Forest is burned and transformed into charcoal to fuel ceramic industry in south Santa Catarina, in a nearby area a phosphate mining enterprise leaded by BUNGE and YARA food and fertilizer international groups are struggling to get an environmental license to trigger their project.

The state officials look the phosphate-mining project with optimism because the lure for mega investments from BUNGE and YARA group who claimed new jobs opportunities and development for Santa Catarina State. An appropriated question now would be if the investors will pay for the environmental damage and human health problems associated with the pollution derived from the phosphate processing by the time the end of the project?

The phosphate quarry is located in Anitapolis County, which is a beautiful area covered with nice and Endangered Brazilian Atlantic rain Forest. This quarry is in a center of a very important ecological corridor connecting Serra do Tabuleiro and Serra Geral. Nowadays most of the rich and diverse flora and fauna are located in the slopes of these mountains.

Habitat of Crested Eagles in Vale do Rio dos Pinheiros, Anitapolis and the Brazilian Atlantic Rain Forest that is planned to be cut down ....

...To be replaced by the phosphate-mining like this in Deer Creek, Idaho, USA

Phosphate mining are famous for causing irreversible damage to environment in many other countries, especially in USA’s states of Idaho and Florida where the billions of dollars invested by mining companies did not covered the costs in trying to fix the problems.

Crested eagles are now threatened by fast deforestation and phosphate mining project in Santa Catarina. The latter will add more deforestation as well as cause severe water and air pollution in the area.

I call for an urgent international attention for this environmental problem in order to save Crested Eagles and their habitat.

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