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Brazil: Activists and politicians express concern over the destruction of environmental protections under Bolsonaro

Author: The Guardian (UK), Published on: 19 June 2019

“'Exterminator of the future': Brazil's Bolsonaro denounced for environmental assault”, 9th May 2019

…Jair Bolsonaro is transforming Brazil into an “exterminator of the future”, the activist and politician Marina Silva has warned, as she and seven other former environment ministers denounced the far-right president’s assault on rainforest protections. The eight former ministers – who served governments across the political spectrum over nearly 30 years – warned…that Bolsonaro’s government was systematically trying to destroy Brazil’s environmental protection policies. “We are watching them deconstruct everything we’ve put together,” said José Sarney Filho, who served as environmental minister…“We’re talking about biodiversity, life, forests … the Amazon has an incredibly important role in global warming. It’s the world’s air conditioner; it regulates rain for the entire continent.” Silva, the environment minister under Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, said: “What is happening is a dismantling, taking education and the environment and making them ideological issues.” She said the government risked “transforming our country into the exterminator of the future – and we can’t let that happen”. Bolsonaro has been severely criticized at home and abroad for his claims that environmental protections hinder Brazil’s economic growth. He is a close ally of the powerful agribusiness lobby and during his campaign said that if he were elected he would not allocate “one more centimeter” of land to indigenous reserves…

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