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  •  The increment in fires revealed today contrasts with the government's decree to ban controlled burnings for 120 days

    The increment in fires revealed today contrasts with the government's decree to ban controlled burnings for 120 days | Photo: EFE/ Fernando Bizerra

Published 7 August 2020
Opinion

On July 16 several organizations filed a request with the Federal Courts of Accounts to resume an audit on the environmental policies carried out by Bolsonaro´s administration to combat fires in the Amazon.

Fires in the Amazon region are increasing during August thus far, according to new data published on Friday by the National Institute for Space Research (INPE).

RELATED:

Fires in Brazil's Amazon up 28% in July

According to INPE, during the firsts six days of August, there were 5.860 fires recorded, an increase of seven percent compared to the same period in 2019. However, although these are previous figures, the trend suggests that August could break records.

The data supports the demands that several environmental and social organizations made against president Jair Bolsonaro, who is carrying a "dismantling of environmental policy" as denounced by these organizations.

In support this Friday, Brazil's Climate Observatory claimed in a statement that the ongoing increment of deforestation alerts in the Amazon rainforest during 2020 is the immediate result of Bolsonaro's decisions.

"This is not because of government incompetence in combating devastation; it has been happening because the Bolsonaro administration plans to promote devastation actively. This is not incompetence; it's by design," the statement said.

On July 16, several organizations filed a request with the Federal Courts of Accounts to resume an audit on the environmental policies carried out by Bolsonaro's administration to combat fires in the Amazon.

The Climate Observatory alongside the Amazon Infrastructure WG; Democracy and Sustainability Institute; Socio-environmental Institute; International Rivers Network; Transparency International -Brazil and WWF-Brazil requested the verification of the governments' expenditures regarding the $60 million budget assigned to the military to protect the world's largest rainforest.

However, the increment in fires revealed contrasts today with the government's moratorium of controlled burnings for 120 days to minimize the impact during the worse phase of the drought period from August to October.

Nevertheless, Indigenous civil society organizations have denounced that burnings are still taken place with the compliance of local authorities.

According to the Climate Observatory's statement since the beginning of Bolsonaro's government, there has been a systemic dismantling of environmental policies which can be exemplified with "the veiled closure of the Ministry of Environment, the shelving of plans to fight deforestation in the Amazon and the Cerrado (savanna) region, the disregard for the Paris Agreement, the harassment of inspectors and the ideological and illegal omission to invest in the fight against environmental crimes, despite a budget of nearly US$ 400 million in unspent funds to do so."

   


 

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