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  • A tract of the Amazon jungle burns as it is cleared by loggers and farmers in Porto Velho, Brazil August 24, 2019.

    A tract of the Amazon jungle burns as it is cleared by loggers and farmers in Porto Velho, Brazil August 24, 2019. | Photo: Reuters

Published 25 August 2019

Between Jan. 1 and Aug. 23 a total number of 6,895 fines were handed out while in 2018, during the same period, a total of 9,771 fines were handed out.

Brazil’s environment agency data showed that fines for environmental violations decreased since far-right President Jair Bolsonaro took office in January. 

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From January to Aug. 23, the fines dropped to a third of what it was during the same period last year while fires in Brazil increased by 84 percent

The data of the Brazilian Institute of Environment and Renewable Natural Resources (Ibama) showed the lowest number of fines handed out for violating environment. 

Between Jan. 1 and Aug. 23 a total number of 6,895 fines were handed out while in 2018, during the same period, a total of 9,771 fines were handed out making a drop of 29.4 percent. 

The total number of fines related to “flora” including deforestation and burning dropped from 4,138 to 2,535 over the same period. In the nine states that contain Brazilian Amazon, fines related flora dropped from 2,817 to 1,627. 

People have blamed Bolsonaro for this drop in a fine which can be related to the current fire in Amazon. Elisabeth Uema, a former employee of Ibama said that Bolsonaro always disliked Ibama and during his presidential campaign, he promised to limit fines for damaging the Amazon and make the agency weaker. 

He has always favored agricultural business by clearing away the world’s largest rainforest. 

Currently, only eight of the 27 offices of Ibama have permanent heads. Bolsonaro also ordered an investigation in April into the officials who burned tractors of illegal loggers in Jamari National Forest. 

According to data released by the Brazilian National Institute of Space Research (INPE), the Amazon was the area where more than half of the 71,497 forest fires detected in Brazil occurred between January and August of this year. 

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