In his homeland, Norwegian social geographer Torkjell Leira is known as a leading expert on Brazil. After coming to the country as an exchange student some 30 years ago, he also began directing his studies and work at Brazilian lands and peoples. His focus on the Amazon led him to work with the Rainforest Foundation for six years, in addition to coordinating projects with communities for organizations and companies in the region. For decades, Leira has been closely monitoring the relations between Brazil and Norway with regard to environmental and climate issues, and has been an important forest advocate, even when he is in his hometown of Oslo. It is from this perspective that his book, A Luta pela Floresta: Como a Noruega Ajuda a Proteger — e a Destruir — o Meio Ambiente no Brasil (The Fight for the Forest: How Norway Helps to Protect — and Destroy — the Environment in Brazil) is being launched in Brazil by publisher Rua do Sabão’s Hiperbórea imprint. Almost like a thriller, the narrative starts from the pipelines of Norwegian semi-state mining company Hydro, to which Leira had access after an environmental scandal related to a toxic spill took on international proportions. As it unfolds, the many connections between the two countries are described: from the times of Brazil’s so-called rubber cycles, when Norwegian shippers virtually monopolized the transport of the commodity — and people — in the region, to today’s most intimate relations between agents of political and economic power that…This article was originally published on Mongabay Läs mer