Brazil starts first operations to protect the Amazon

Brazil starts first operations to protect the Amazon

Brazil starts first operations to protect the Amazon

An aerial view of a huge piece of land cleared of trees in the eastern Amazon of Brazil

An aerial view of a huge piece of land cleared of trees in the eastern Amazon of Brazil.

Brazil this week launched its first operations against deforestation in the Amazon since veteran leftist Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva took office, Ibama’s environmental agency said on Friday.

In the election campaign before his victory in the October elections – when he defeated far-right skeptic Jair Bolsonaro – Lula promised to end deforestation by 2030.

The Amazon rainforest suffered during Bolsonaro’s four-year presidency, as the former army captain repeatedly enacted laws favoring agriculture and mining in the rainforest at the expense of this critically important ecosystem. Reducing deforestation is key to slowing climate change.

“The sending of teams to start inspection operations began on January 16, 2023,” Ibama told AFP.

Average deforestation in the Amazon increased by 75% during Bolsonaro’s presidency, compared to the previous decade.

“Since the beginning of the transition period, the federal government’s environmental team has been working to build a plan capable of reversing the pace of deforestation seen in recent months,” added Ibama.

On Wednesday, Lula told the Globo News network that he wants to create a Federal Police to “act more strongly” in protecting forests.

Brazil's Amazon rainforest has been severely damaged by wildfires, like this one in the state of Pará in August 2022

Brazil’s Amazon rainforest has been seriously damaged by wildfires, like this one in the state of Pará in August 2022.

He also said that he wants to set up a meeting with the other South American countries that share the Amazon to discuss a continental preservation policy.

Lula said he was going to fight deforestation “by any means” and added: “I’m going to need the Armed Forces, I’m going to need the Federal Police.”

Since taking office on January 1, Lula has signed a series of decrees concerning the protection of the Amazon.

He also reactivated an Amazon protection fund that had been frozen since 2019 due to a disagreement between the Bolsonaro government and major donor countries Norway and Germany over how to spend the money.

And Lula revoked a Bolsonaro decree that authorized mining in indigenous areas and protected zones.

© 2023 AFP

Quote: Brazil begins first operations to protect the Amazon (2023, January 20) retrieved January 20, 2023 from https://phys.org/news/2023-01-brazil-amazon.html

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