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News > Brazil

Livestock Solves Ecosystem Destruction, Brazilian Minister Says

  • Body of a howler monkey charred by a fire in the Pantanal, Oct. 11, 2020.

    Body of a howler monkey charred by a fire in the Pantanal, Oct. 11, 2020. | Photo: Twitter/ @chico_psol

Published 14 October 2020

Prosecutor's Office holds that Environmental Minister Ricardo Salles has encouraged the dismantling of regulations that seek to inhibit environmental crimes.

The First Region's Federal Court requested that the dismissal of Environment Minister Ricardo Salles be analyzed "immediately" because of his mismanagement of the wildfires.


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Previously, in June, the Brazilian Prosecutor's Office also requested the removal of Salles arguing that he encouraged the dismantling of public institutions and regulations that seek to inhibit environmental crimes.

Judicial authorities mentioned that if President Jair Bolsonaro's minister was not removed, the exponential and alarming increase in deforestation in the Amazon rainforest could reach "a no-return point."

In September, the Prosecutor's Office insisted on the removal of Salles and confirmed that his permanence in the government implies "tragic" consequences for environmental protection.

This happened when 76,030 fire outbreaks had already been registered in the Amazon from January 1 to September 30.

The cumulative number of fire outbreaks registered in this region is the highest since 2010, according to the National Institute for Space Research (INPE). This environmental catastrophe, however, is not the only one that is happening in the Brazilian territory.

In response to the destruction of some 4 million hectares of natural vegetation in the Pantanal, which is a gigantic seasonal floodplain, Salles said that the solution to halt wildfires is to increase the amount of pasture and promote livestock.

"The warmer and drier climate, added to an excessive volume of organic mass, means a fire of great proportions," Salles said during a hearing before the Senate on Tuesday.

He argued that the destruction of the Pantanal would not be happening "if we had carried out controlled fires in a timely manner and if we had maintained livestock as one way to manage vegetation and soil."

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