Rainforest harvesting up, environment protection budget drop down in Brazil

Even though the Amazon rainforest harvesting in Brazil is at its highest level since 2008, its president, Jair Bolsonaro, may not care.

He has even sent a draft budget bill to the Brazilian Congress, which, if approved, will not allow any law enforcement initiative against this harvesting. And this is when Brazil is the world’s 5th-largest GHG (GHG) emitter. In particular, unlike other top emitters, Brazil’s emissions are mainly from deforestation, agriculture and cattle. According to Brazilian NGOs, if this budget proposal of the government is approved, the country will have no financial resources to fight deforestation and water.

Amazon deforestation increased 9.5% between August 2019 and July 2020 and reached 11,088 km² as compared to 10,129 km² in the previous 12 months. This degraded area is the largest in 12 years and is equal to 7.2 times the size of the city of São Paulo. These are the statistics of Brazil’s forest harvesting monitoring system called PRODES and up to 95% correct according to the National Space Research Institute (INPE).

Brazil’s Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation Ministry Marcos Pontes and Vice President General Hamilton Mourao, who chairs the National Council of Legal Amazonia, were present during the announcement of the figures. Mourao did not announce any measures to stop deforestation and said that degradation could be more. It was the first time in recent years that the Minister of the Environment was not present at the unveiling ceremony, a post which Ricardo Sallez held.

Meanwhile, in response to the newly introduced bill, 23 civil society institutions, including Greenpeace Brazil, started a “One with No Cuts” (Floresta sem Cortes) campaign demanding MPs change the bill. The reason for the movement is now even more clear because under the anti-environment policy of the current government, to reduce the environmental protection in Brazil, to reduce the budget available for the environment and not to spend resources, there are two ways to fulfill its objective. to do.

Looking at the budget shortfall, from 2019 to 2020, the environmental watchdog Idama’s discretionary spending budget decreased by US $ 21 million (30.4%); There was a decrease of US $ 18 million (32.7%) for ICMBio (the agency overseeing conservation units), and US $ 6 million (32.7%) for the direct administration of the Ministry of Environment.

On this latest development, Cristian Mezzetti, spokeswoman for Greenpeace Brazil’s Amazon campaign, says, “These policies of the government are causing unimaginable damage to the climate, biodiversity and Brazilian society. Tell Congress that in this context it is the government’s economic Part of the resources can be transferred to an institution like Ibama and ICMBio, as they have the legal capacity and technical expertise to fight deforestation and fire. “

Further, Maracio Astrini, executive secretary of the Brazilian Climate Observatory (Climate Observatory), says, “Usually, when deforestation increases, we are left wondering what is wrong with efforts to control environmental crime.” Happened. This time, we know that the growth happened because everything happened exactly as the government had intended ”.