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.
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.
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 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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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