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People are illegally selling portions of the Amazon rainforest on Facebook Marketplace

Facebook says it will work with local authorities, but it is keeping its distance.

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Image: KnowTechie

Facebook Marketplace is a solid option for those looking for a used bookshelf or a 2007 Chevy Silverado, but did you know you can also find… the Amazon rainforest on there?

Well, you can, according to a new investigation from the BBC. Essentially, by searching Portuguese words for things like “forest” and “native jungle” you can find plots of all sizes illegally for sale. We were able to find plots of land using this method, but couldn’t confirm if the sales were legal or not.

The BBC notes that some of these plots of land are the size of “1,000 football pitches.” Facebook tells the BBC it will work with local authorities on this but would not take action to put a stop to these trades.

In some areas being targeted, including Rondônia, indigenous communities use the land to live, hunt, and fish. Some of these communities have never even had real contact with the outside world.

The BBC spoke with Ricardo Salles, Brazil’s Minister of the Environment, regarding the illegal sales. Salles says that “President Jair Bolsonaro’s government has always made it clear that his is a zero-tolerance government for any crime, including environmental ones.”

That said, Brazil has drastically cut funding to Ibama, the agency that helps with finding and stopping illegal land sales. COVID-19 has also made things more difficult.

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