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28 Aug 2019

BBC News (UK)

Brazil: Scientists claim Bolsonaro has favored development over conservation after record fires in Amazon forest, but president blames NGOs without evidences

“Amazon fires: Record number burning in Brazil rainforest - space agency”, 21 August 2019

…[T]he National Institute for Space Research (Inpe) said its satellite data showed an 84% increase on the same period in 2018. It comes weeks after President Jair Bolsonaro sacked the head of the agency amid rows over its deforestation data…[C]onservationists have blamed Mr Bolsonaro for the Amazon's plight, saying he has encouraged loggers and farmers to clear the land, and scientists say the rainforest has suffered losses at an accelerated rate since he took office in January. Meanwhile, US space agency Nasa said that overall fire activity in the Amazon basin was slightly below average this year…[I]t was earlier reported that a blackout on Monday in the city of São Paulo - more than 2,700km (1,700 miles) away - had been caused by smoke from the Amazon fires…[W]ildfires often occur in the dry season in Brazil but they are also deliberately started in efforts to illegally deforest land for cattle ranching…[T]he satellite images showed Brazil's most northern state, Roraima, covered in dark smoke, while neighbouring Amazonas declared an emergency over the fires…[M]r Bolsonaro…[:]…["I]…used to be called Captain Chainsaw. Now I am Nero, setting the Amazon aflame,"…[L]ater he appeared to suggest that non-governmental organisations had set fires, as revenge for his government slashing their funding. He presented no evidence and gave no names to support this theory, saying there were "no written records about the suspicions"…Why is Bolsonaro being criticised? The reports of a rise in forest fires come amid criticism over Mr Bolsonaro's environmental policies. Scientists say the Amazon has suffered losses at an accelerated rate since the president took office in January, with policies favouring development over conservation...Previous governments had managed to reduce deforestation with action by federal agencies and a system of fines. But Mr Bolsonaro and his ministers have criticised the penalties and overseen a fall in confiscations of timber and convictions for environmental crimes…

Part of the following timelines

Brasil: Governo Bolsonaro e suas políticas que colocam em risco direitos humanos e a democracia

Brasil: Queimadas na Amazônia podem ter sido provocadas por grileiros e fazendeiros, mas Bolsonaro culpa ONGs e cientistas alegam que presidente favoreceu desenvolvimento e não a conservação, empresas boicotam