Amazon Fire and Blood

The increase in deforestation and burning does not happen by accident. In regions such as the Amazon and Cerrado, they are the foreseeable consequence of the lack of planning and action of our rulers. But since January this year, what was already bad has gotten a lot worse. In assuming the presidency, Bolsonaro began a real attack on the environment, especially targeting Amazon and its people. Check out the environmental atrocities "collection" announced by him and his environment minister, Ricardo Salles.


A FakeMinister

Ricardo Salles, the new Environment Minister, became known for writing articles and lying on his resume: he made up that he graduated from Yale University and that he understands the environment. It’s a lie. In fact, he is an agribusiness lawyer. Two weeks before assuming the ministry, he was convicted by the São Paulo court, accused of ENVIRONMENTAL FRAUD.



Salles Didn’t EvenTry to Hide it

During the transition, former Minister of the Environment, Edson Duarte, prepared a dossier with everything the ministry was doing and looking to the future. Salles declined to receive the document. Nor, tried to hide it: he was not interested in environmental policies. He had other priorities: one of the first acts of the ministry was to pardon the fine for Bolsonaro’s environmental crime of illegally fishing in a protected area.



The Attack Begins

Salles goes to war with everyone who protects the environment. He fires almost all of the environmental agencies’ leaders and left the majority of the positions empty. The administrators of environmental reserves and national parks are fired and replaced by inactive military police. Investment in environmental programs plummet.



Foreign Mining Companiesare Watching

The Minister of Mines and Energy, at a major mining event in Canada, announced that the Bolsonaro administration plans to allow mining on indigenous lands.




Minister Ricardo Salles forbade the environmental agency employees from disclosing any information without him
endorsing it first. He wants full control of communication.



The impunity spree

Almost all environmental programs are stalled, out of money. They prioritized creating a new, special program: the Environmental Conciliation Centers. Actually, it is an office of the notary public to forgive environmental fines.



Defending illegal loggers

As provided by law, equipment involved in illegal activities and seized in the middle of the forest can be burned so as not to be recovered by criminals. Bolsonaro made a speech on social networks advocating that this equipment should no longer be destroyed, publicly criticizing Ibama.



The end of forestfire prevention I

With the 24% cut in IBAMA's budget, there is almost not even enough to pay the agency's fixed expenses. Brazil lost its ability to monitor, inspect, and prevent environmental crimes.



The end of forestfire prevention II

38% of the forest-fire prevention budget and control programs has been barred.



screw the climate

The budget for dealing with climate change is reduced to virtually zero. The 95% cut severely affected deforestation and burning programs, Brazil’s largest source of greenhouse gas emissions.



“The dismantling of all thatwas built”

At an unprecedented meeting, former environment ministers of all governments since the end of Military Dictatorship denounced the “dismantling of socio-environmental governance” promoted by the Bolsonaro administration and accused Salles of trying to destroy the Ministry of Environment and erode its ability to protect the forest.



Runthe police are coming

Government gives advanced warnings of where IBAMA will carry out deforestation inspection operations, so that violators can hide.



Less conservationless protected areas

Bolsonaro announced plans to eliminate 67 conservation units so as not to disrupt road construction and other projects. Salles promised to review all 334 federal Conservation Units.




The president celebrates the decrease of IBAMA fines against environmental crimes. “In the first two months of this year, we had a lower percentage of fines in the field, and they will continue to decrease, we will end this fining industry in the field.”



Biting the handthat feeds him

The Bolsonaro administration began an absurd controversy with Germany and Norway, the main donors of the Amazon Fund, which finances projects for forest preservation and generating sustainable business. To the surprise of both donors, Bolsonaro suggested that the money be spent on compensating land-grabbers who steal public land. The result: transfers were suspended.



And crime feelsit has government support

When IBAMA’s inspection teams arrived at the Zoró Indigenous Land in Rondônia, Brazil to prevent a criminal action by loggers, the law enforcement officials were greeted with violence. A federal agency tank truck was set on fire, and the operation had to be stopped. Loggers feel they have government support and can now refuse to obey the law.



…And theyreally do

Two weeks after the attack on IBAMA in Rondônia, Brazil, Ricardo Salles went to the region and spoke to loggers, calling them “good citizens”. Remember, logging companies operating in the region on act in the illegal logging from indigenous lands.



And theforest falls

No surprise: After half a year of reductions in monitoring, inspection, and prevention efforts, deforestation explodes. The number of deforestation alerts in July was 278% higher than in the same month of 2018. Considering the annual measurement period, the allerts increase was of almost 50%.



Scienceis the enemy

Dissatisfied with the international repercussion of the increase in deforestation, Bolsonaro decided to place the blame on Brazil’s National Institute of Space Research (INPE), the scientific institute responsible for satellite monitoring. To “fix the problem” he fired its director, the renowned physicist Ricardo Galvão, in an act of obvious political interference in technical work.



abandoned Amazon Fund

Norway suspended donations to the Amazon Fund, just as Germany had done days before. Both countries were severely attacked by the Brazilian government, the largest beneficiary of the Amazon Conservation Fund.



Apocalipse now

In São Paulo, The day turns to night in the middle of the afternoon, a weather phenomenon never seen before. Climate change, which generates increasingly more-powerful storms, and soot from the Amazon and Cerrado fires, helps to understand what happened.



But it’s theNGOs’ faults

In a frantic attempt to escape his responsibility, but with great conviction, Bolsonaro began to say that it was the NGOs that set the forest on fire, just to make him look bad. In the days that followed, it became clear that several of the fires were criminal. Many were even caused by deforestation culprits that got organized via WhatsApp on networks that support Bolsonaro.



Cause andeffect

NASA images show a large increase in fires and associate the problem with the increase in deforestation that came before. Fires occur over deforested forest trunks left to dry in the sun.




After brutally cutting the environmental budget, Bolsonaro complained that he could not take care of the Amazon due to lack of money. Additionally, when faced with an offer of financial aid from the G7, the president threw a temper tantrum and imposed absurd conditions to accept the money.



More infractions,less punishment

The increase in deforestation has been huge in the last year. However, from January to August 2019, there was a 28% reduction in the number of notices of environmental violations across the country as compared to the same period in 2018. There was a 40% reduction in crimes specifically against flora in the Legal Amazon region.



The marketreacts

Timberland, Vans, and H&M are some of the first companies that decided to suspend Brazilian-leather purchases in protest against the destruction of the Amazon. Several others investigated similar measures. The Bolsonaro administration's environmental abuse began to hurt the Brazilian economy.




The Federal Prosecutor’s Office (MPF) sent a series of thirteen recommendations for Salles’ Ministry to start working for the environment, pointing out omissions and inefficiencies.



Amazonon fire

Amazon deforestation alerts rise 321% in August, fire alerts increase 111%, as compared to 2018.



The end of inspections

The Brazilian Institute of Environment and Renewable Natural Resources’ (IBAMA) number of environmental inspection operations in the Amazon fell by 70% from January to April, as compared to the same period last year.



All talkno action

From January to September, the government only applied 7.5% of the reduced resource for policies to combat deforestation and associated crimes, such as land grabbing and violence against communities. Without inspections, organized crime acts freely. With this connivance, mafias that profit from forest destruction are endangering the forest and its people.


Now that you've understand the size of the problem, what can you do? Get informed, sign the petition and pressure against Amazon destruction