The brazilian government pledged Wednesday to reduce “the minimum acceptable” deforestation and fires in Amazonia, in response to criticism from inside and outside the country since the coming to power of Jair Bolsonaro.
“We will try to reduce to a minimum acceptable deforestation and fires, to demonstrate to the international community and the brazilian society our commitment,” promised the vice-president Hamilton Mourao.
But, said the general who leads the national Council of the Amazon, created in January, ” it is clear that the zero deforestation and economic development do not exclude one another.”
The vice-president, who was speaking after he led a meeting of the inter-ministerial council, insisted on “a firm commitment” of the government vis-à-vis “preservation and development” of the Amazon, the largest rainforest in the world, of which 60 % is located in brazilian territory.
It has not, however, provided no details on how that Brasilia would implement.
The deforestation of the brazilian Amazon hit a record high with an acceleration of 25 % in the first half compared to the same period of 2019.
She touched 3069 km2, the highest figure since the compilation of these data in 2015, according to the National Institute of space research (INPE).
The month of June, which marks the beginning of the dry season, was the worst in 13 years for wildfires, with 2248 homes listed, an increase of 19.5 % compared to June 2019.
In may, the government had sent the army into the Amazon to fight the fires that were ravaging each dry season.
The policy of the president Jair Bolsonaro, which came to power in January 2019, is at the heart of the criticisms of the defenders of the Amazon.
The head of State, who has never shown concern for the environment, has repeatedly indicated that it intends to open up indigenous territories and protected nature reserves with mining activities or agricultural — those that encourage deforestation.
He attributed the criticism to the NGO “globalists” and the supposed will of some countries to hinder the economic development of the Brazil and threatening its sovereignty.
But in recent months, environmental issues have taken place, particularly in the discussions of Brazil with the economic actors.
At the end of June, investment fund in Europe, Asia and South America who administer about $ 4 billion of assets had threatened to withdraw their investments in Brazil if the government could not contain the destruction of the amazon rainforest.
“They want to see results, a reduction in deforestation,” said the vice president last Thursday, after a conference call with investors.
Major brazilian exporters, concerned about the bad image of Brazil in terms of the environment, have also expressed their concern.
And this Wednesday, 17 former ministers of the brazilian Economy and former president of the central Bank who have requested a change of policy.