By Fiona Hurrell, Senior Contributing Reporter

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Praça Nossa Senhora da Paz in Ipanema was at the center of a protest demonstration yesterday (Saturday 12th) against plans to remove 113 trees during the implementation of a new Metro subway line.

Praça Nossa Senhora da Paz in Ipanema is set to have trees removed in June, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil News
Praça Nossa Senhora da Paz in Ipanema is set to have trees removed in June, image recreation.

The trees, which have been part of the park for decades, are to be removed in compliance with plans to construct ‘Metro Line 4’ linking Ipanema with Barra da Tijuca. Work is rumored to begin in June, after which, the state has promised to return the trees.

Despite this, the move has sparked concern from a number of residents who, in the last few weeks, have attached petitions to posts around the park generating over 12,000 signatures in support of their objection.

Protesters gathered in Praça Nossa Senhora da Paz armed with banners displaying the slogans “cuidado: frágil” meaning “caution: fragile” in a show of solidarity.

Project coordinator and organizer of the rally, Ignêz Barreto, told O Globo, “The square is home to a rich fauna that live in this environment, it is the backyard of our children, a meeting point for students and an oasis for the elderly and disabled. We are not against progress with the installation of the subway, but we do not support the felling of trees.”

Fortunately for the protesters, the weather was kind. Barreto was particularly impressed with the turnout stating “We got a sunny Saturday and at least 3,000 people passed through here to sign the protest.”

The group intends to present the signatures acquired from the rally to the governor, Sergio Cabral, the mayor and the State Prosecutor in the hope of preventing any potentially harmful action from taking place in the park.

Read more (in Portuguese).

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5 COMMENTS

  1. Wish I’d been in Rio, I would have been in the middle of this protest. Good for the residents standing up for their home ground. 113 trees must be almost all of the trees that surround the park and 100 year old tree at that – no way to replace them later. Take down the political statue and put it back later – the whole center of the park is empty of trees – so I don’t understand.

  2. This is just one more chapter in the never-ending struggle of the Ipanema power group to keep poor people from the suburbs out of Ipanema. They treat the park as their back yard (do they really?) and then say very loudly Not In My Back Yard. Most of the protesters couldn’t care the least bit about the trees, they’re just NIMBYing the metrô.

  3. Wow, excellent work. Hats off to all Protesters. We cant tolerate it now, we must awake our government by protesting against cutting down trees, water pollution and soil pollution. There are lots of industries out there who omit possessions gases and liquid that spoil our environment.

    Thanks to all my friends who participated in this protest.

    Regards,
    Brenda.

  4. IPANEMA HAS A BEAUTIFUL SONG!
    IPANEMA HAS A BEAUTIFUL GREEN SQUARE!
    THE GOVERNMENT WANTS TO BUILD A METRO STATION IN OUR SQUARE.
    THEY WANT TO CUT DOWN THE OLD AND BEAUTIFUL TREES (MORE THAN 100)
    CAN THEY DENY CHILDREN, OLD AND YOUNG PEOPLE AND ANIMALS TO USE THE SQUARE?
    CAN THEY DESTROY THE ONLY GREEN SQUARE IN IPANEMA?
    IPANEMA ALREADY HAS A METRO STATION IN ANOTHER SQUARE.
    LET´S SAVE OUR LADY OF PEACE SQUARE.
    LEAVE THE SQUARE IN PEACE.
    AMEM

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