A policy set out by Jair Bolsonaro is currently seeing 3 football fields of Amazon being cut down every minute.
With a green light being given on land invasion, logging and burning illegally, the Brazilian Amazon is on the brink of a tipping point of which it will never recover from.
July saw 1,345 sq km so far disappearing, a third higher than any prior monthly record. If this continues, a landmass bigger than Greater London will be cleared by the end of the month.
This, of course, weakens an entire ecosystem, where climate change is already such a tremendous threat. This will, in turn, affect the entire planet.
“It’s very important to keep repeating these concerns. There are a number of tipping points which are not far away,” said Philip Fearnside, a professor at Brazil’s National Institute of Amazonian Research. “We can’t see exactly where they are, but we know they are very close. It means we have to do things right away. Unfortunately, that is not what is happening. There are people denying we even have a problem.”
This could also impede Brazil’s trade deal with the European Union and if EU legislators make the decision that Brazil is forfeiting on the deal, they will be in breach of the Paris climate agreement.
With Bolsonaro fobbing figures as lies, the president insisted that their numbers would be screened and verified by the ministry of science before figures were shown to the public. This, of course, raised eyebrows and suspicions that figures have been vetted.
In the short 7 month period in which Bolsonaro has ruled as president, he has received rather a strong backing from agribusiness and mining interests, while he’s been callously eroding any agencies responsible for the protection of the forest.
The leader of the farming lobby has been instated as supervisor to the environmental agency, with ministers criticizing the forest monitoring agency for mining illegal land grabbers and loggers – something rather against the country’s best interests.
Furthermore, business-people have been invited to counter-claim against the indigenous, thought to be protected territories.
Thousands of gold miners reportedly invaded Yanomami indigenous territory near the border of Venezuela earlier this month, where elsewhere, loggers have mounted two attacks in response to Ibama enforcement operations.
Suspiciously, Ricardo Salles, the environment minister sided with the loggers in a speech he gave, addressing the issue, where he noted that:
“The timber industry deserves to be respected … What happens today in Brazil, unfortunately, is the result of years and years and years of a public policy of producing laws, rules, regulations that are not always related to the real world. What we are doing now is precisely bringing the legal part of the real world that happens in every country from north to south.”
Bolsonaro also accused German chancellor, Angela Merkel of criticizing Brazil unfairly, stating that their conservation record was superior to that of Europe – bogus claims based on the Climate Observatory, citing figures that Germany has granted protected status to more of its land than Brazil and with Brazil going backwards rather speedily, deforestation rose by 13% last year.
“Unfortunately, it is absurd, but it should not catch anyone by surprise. President Jair Bolsonaro and minister Ricardo Salles are dismantling our socio-environmental policies,” said Carlos Rittl, the executive secretary of the Climate Observatory , an NGO formed by a coalition of environmental groups.
He furthermore went on to explain that Salles has depleted departments responsible for those policies combating deforestation, with 8 of the 9 leader positions being left empty.