2018 Photo Contest, Environment, 3rd prize

Amazon: Paradise Threatened


Daniel Beltra

04 February, 2017

Carved from the rainforest, the Morro do Filipe Mine, near Munguba, in Amapá, Brazilian Amazon, extracts kaolin, used in the paper industry. In August, President Michel Temer issued a decree allowing mining across a formerly protected area of Amapá that was approximately the size of Switzerland. Although the decree was later revoked, there are concerns that protection may again be lifted.

After declining from major peaks in 1995 and 2004, the rate of deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon increased sharply in 2016, under pressure from logging, mining, agriculture and hydropower developments. The Amazon forest is one of Earth’s great ‘carbon sinks’, absorbing billions of tonnes of carbon dioxide each year and acting as a climate regulator. Without it, the world’s ability to lock up carbon would be reduced, compounding the effects of global warming.

About the photographer

Daniel Beltra

Technical information

Focal length
70.0 mm

This image is collected in