Brazil: Concerns voiced over increasing deforestation and easing of environmental protections

Author: Merco Press, Published on: 11 June 2019

“Brazil: Amazon rainforest deforestation advancing at its fastest rate during May”, 5th May 2019

…Deforestation of the Amazon rainforest in Brazil sped up in May to the fastest rate in a decade, according to data from an early-warning satellite system, as experts pointed to activity by illegal loggers encouraged by the easing of environmental protections under President Jair Bolsonaro. According to the Brazilian space research institute INPE, the Deter alerting system registered deforestation of 739 sq km in May, the first of three months in which logging tends to surge following the region's rainy season…The data adds to concerns from environmentalists who warn that Bolsonaro's five-month-old government has dismantled conservation agencies, shown skepticism about fighting climate change and cut the budget to enforce environmental laws. Brazil's environmental protection agency IBAMA, which has been starved of funds in recent years, lost authority when he took office in January, and the forestry commission was moved to the Agriculture Ministry, which is run by farm industry allies. For Marcio Astrini, Greenpeace Brazil's public policy coordinator, Bolsonaro's government is “anti-environmental” and has pushed to reduce forest protections without presenting a plan to fight deforestation. “With Bolsonaro, people who destroy forests feel safe and those who protect forests feel threatened,” Astrini said…

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