The Bolsonaro government's environmental protection bodies intervened after less than 3% of deforestation alerts in Brazil, according to data made public on Tuesday by the NGO collective MapBiomas.

The latter has launched a new platform which makes it possible to cross-reference satellite data showing the progress of deforestation with the registers of fines or arrests from the authorities to punish illegal deforestation, particularly in the Amazon.

It shows that since President Jair Bolsonaro came to power in January 2019, only 2.17% of alerts highlighted by satellites have resulted in an intervention by government bodies.

Veja como funciona o Monitor da Fiscalização do Desmatamento, nova plataforma do @mapbiomas launchedda nesta terça (3)

— mapbiomas (@mapbiomas) May 3, 2022

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“Impunity continues to reign”

"Despite the abundance of information and evidence of environmental crimes, surveillance actions are still very far from the mark in curbing deforestation", explains Ana Paula Valdiones, of the Institut center de vie (ICV), one of the associations members of the MapBiomas project, in which several universities also collaborate.

The new platform shows that, from January 2019 to March 2022, the interventions of the federal authorities concerned only 13.1% of the deforested areas.

“These data show that impunity continues to reign with regard to illegal deforestation in Brazil,” said Tasso Azevedo, coordinator of MapBiomas.

Jair Bolsonaro accused of promoting illegal deforestation

During Jair Bolsonaro's first three years in office, deforestation increased by more than 75% compared to the annual average of the previous decade.

The far-right president came under severe criticism from the international community in August 2019, in the face of the resurgence of forest fires in the Amazon.

Ecologists accuse him in particular of favoring the impunity of gold panners, farmers or timber traffickers who practice illegal deforestation.

Last year, Ibama, the main public body for environmental protection, spent only 41% of its budget allocated to monitoring, according to the Climate Observatory, another collective of NGOs.

The Ministry of the Environment did not immediately respond to requests from AFP on the subject.


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  • Brazil

  • Deforestation

  • Planet

  • Amazon

  • Environment

  • Jair Bolsonaro