Bolsonaro, the predator | OP-ED
The environment, defense of the planet and climate change are not on the agenda of the Brazilian government. On the contrary, their actions go against the world's concern for survival.
Until two months ago, Brazil's Minister of the Environment was Ricardo Salles, accused of participating in illegal trafficking of timber to the United States. He is an example of what President Jair Bolsonaro has meant for Brazil, for the Amazon and the health of the planet. His actions against the preservation of the jungle and rejection of the requests of the indigenous communities for the delimitation of their territories are at the other end of those mobilizing to establish measures that counteract environmental deterioration.
The center of the discussion is the Amazon rainforest, the lung of the world and the source of an incalculable wealth of biodiversity. Everyone knows that, but Bolsonaro, who assumed power on Jan. 1, 2019, and his followers, have done everything to ignore him. The deforestation figures show it:
The National Institute for Space Research (Inpe) of Brazil revealed that in 2019, illegal deforestation increased 88% compared to 2018. Bolsonaro's response was to question the figure and cut the budget of institutions responsible for environmental control.
A few weeks ago, Inpe published a worrying figure: 1,062 square kilometers were deforested in June, the most since 2015 when the measurement began. In the first part of 2021 3,609 kilometers were added in total, in a race without brakes.
While the president mocks the commitments to the health of the planet, regional governments and businessmen make agreements and advance programs to counteract what is done by the federal government.
Another recent report also indicates that the Brazilian Amazon now emits more carbon than it absorbs, which has a serious impact on the climate, with the region's temperature expected to rise by 2 degrees Celsius. International agreements establish a maximum of 1.5 degrees.
The government's actions have been limited to investing a fortune in military deployment in areas that are being devastated by deforestation with no positive results in sight. In addition, it reduced the budget of the Ministry of the Environment by 30%, contrary to Bolsonaro's international promises to strengthen the sector and deal with illegal logging by 2030.
In contrast, while the president mocks the commitments to the health of the planet, regional governments and businessmen make agreements and advance programs to counteract what is done by the federal government.
Bolsonaro has 16 months left in the Presidency. The hope is that whoever replaces him will resume the priority of the fight against climate change and all that it implies for the health of the planet.