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The Orinoco Belt

Venezuela already overtook Saudia Arabia as the country with the largest oil reserves in the world and 2012 is likely to be a crucial year for the climate, as the country aims to ramp up production of huge reserves of tar sands-like crude in the eastern Orinoco River Belt. But economical exploitation comes with huge environmental concerns.

By Sarah Wykes

The Parrylands-Guapo Fields

In 2009 Trinidad and Tobago awarded a license to Petroleum Co. of Trinidad and Tobago Ltd. to explore tar sands at Parrylands-Guapo fields, which are thought to contain 2 billion barrels of oil. An Institute of Energy and Mining has recently been established that will "cater for the specific needs of what, in effect, will be an entirely new part of the local oil industry". By Christopher Walker

Dangerous journey: Migration through the transit country Mexico

The migration stream going through Mexico is the largest in the world. Violence is on the migration routes of the day. At least since the discovery of 72 dead migrants in the northern state of Tamaulipas in August last year, brings the issue of serious human rights violations against migrants in Mexico increasingly into the public interest. An inventory By Jennifer Dresel

Argentina: Uncertainty about the nuclear future

Argentina has been one of the first countries worldwide to build up a nuclear infrastructure since the 1950s. But after Fukushima, and in the context of possible financial restrictions in the coming years, the ambitious nuclear expansion plan presented by the government in 2010 of at least two more 700+ MW reactors seems less likely to be executed. By Michael Álvarez Kalverkamp

Nuclear Power in Uruguay

Since 1992 Uruguay has a law forbidding the use of nuclear power. Nevertheless the energy ministry of the government worked on an energy plan for the next 25 years focused on a great increase in renewables, sustainable biofuels and energy efficiency, which would make a nuclear power plant obsolete. By Michael Álvarez Kalverkamp

The nuclear debate in Chile

In quake- and tsunami-striken Chile, things have turned different since March 12th. After Fukushima 86 percent of Chileans are against nuclear power and even 60 percent would not accept it “under any circumstances”. But the mega hydro projects are also controversial. By Michael Álvarez Kalverkamp

Dollars, Hopes and Controversies - REDD in the Amazon

The abbreviation REDD (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation) was only commonly heard among insiders in climate negotiations but it now has entered the lingo of NGOs, indigenous organisations and action groups in the Amazon. While many have pinned their hopes on REDD to protect forests and the climate, others see the dangers of commercialising nature and habitats. By Thomas Fatheuer

Belém Letter

Open letter from brazilian environmental organisations, networks and social movements calling on the Brazilian Government to reject the idea of using REDD as a carbon market-based mechanism and of accepting it as a means to compensate the emissions from Northern countries.

The Strategic Lines of Brazilian Foreign Policy

Democratisation, regional integration, and globalisation have led to changes in Brazil’s international standing over the last decades. Brazil is already progressively gaining international influence. At the same time, its foreign policy has become increasingly transparent, democratic, and representative of the diversity of its society. By Clóvis Brigagão