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International Update Volume 49, Issue 1

BRAZIL HANDS OVER INDIGENOUS LAND DEMARCATION TO AGRICULTURE MINISTRY

Brazil

Brazil's new president, Jair Bolsonaro, has issued an administrative decree that shifts responsibility for indigenous land demarcation from the government's indigenous affairs office to the ministry of agriculture. The decree also shifts authority over regulation of quilombola territory from the government's agrarian reform institute to the ministry.

GERMAN GOVERMENT PROPOSES TO LOOSEN HUNTING RESTRICTIONS ON WOLVES

Germany

Julia Kloecker, Germany's Agriculture Minister, has proposed to loosen hunting restrictions on wolves to reduce their threat to grazing animals. According to the ministry, wolves killed more than 1,000 farm animals in 2016. Kloecker wrote last month to Svenja Schulze, Germany's Environment Minister, to lobby for a change in the rule to allow more wolves to be shot as part of a moderate regulation of the species' population, but it was unclear who would be licensed to carry out the shooting.

CANADIAN CRUDE OIL PRODUCER FINED FOR BLUE HERON DEATHS

Canada

Canada's Syncrude has pleaded guilty to the deaths of 31 blue herons at its oil sands mine in northern Alberta and fined C$2.75 million. According to Alberta's energy regulator, the birds died after becoming oiled in an abandoned sump that was built to collect process-affected water containing residual bitumen from a storage site at the mine. Syncrude was previously fined C$3 million for negligence in the 2008 deaths of 1,600 ducks in a toxic tailings pond.