Amazon rainforest plots sold via Facebook Marketplace ads

Parts of Brazil’s Amazon rainforest are being illegally sold on Facebook Marketplace. The protected areas include national forests and land reserved for indigenous peoples.

Some of the plots listed via Facebook’s classified ads service are as large as 1,000 football pitches. Some listings even feature satellite images and GPS co-ordinates.

Facebook said it was “ready to work with local authorities,” but indicated it would not take independent action of its own to halt the trade.

The Californian tech firm added, “Our commerce policies require buyers and sellers to comply with laws and regulations.”

The leader of one of the indigenous communities affected has urged the tech firm to do more, and campaigners have claimed the country’s government is unwilling to halt the sales.

The head of an environmental NGO said, “The land invaders feel very empowered to the point that they are not ashamed of going on Facebook to make illegal land deals.”

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