Five Bolsonaro Ministries Link Policies to False Deforestation Reversal

Five government ministries Jair Bolsonaro (no party) pointed to a reversal of deforestation in the Amazon, one month after the end of the cycle with the greatest devastation in 13 years, and associated policies developed by the folders to a false observation of a decrease in deforestation rates.

In a meeting on August 27 of the National Council of the Legal Amazon, which is Led by Vice President Hamilton Mourão (PRTB), those present considered a 5% reduction in deforestation in the biome as a given, based on data from Inpe (National Institute’s Deforestation Monitoring Project in the Legal Amazon). of Space Research).

At this meeting, representatives of five portfolios —Science and Technology, Agriculture, Defense, Economy and Mines and Energy— listed which of their policies had led to the improvement in the numbers.

Among the actions linked to what would be a success in the comba Deforestation includes the allocation of public lands for use by squatters, which critics point to as a door to land grabbing, formalization of mining in a region with gold looting and impact on indigenous communities, and the failed military intervention in the Amazon.

​The problem is that the official numbers, released by Inpe on the last day 18, pointed out a very different result from the one dealt with at the meeting. Rather than slowing, deforestation in the Amazon actually exploded, reaching 16.235 km² in the period from August 2006 to July 2021. This represents an increase of 18% compared to the previous cycle.

Since 2006 there has not been so much loss of Amazonian vegetation in Brazilian territory.

The Bolsonaro government held the disclosure of Inpe’s data, completed and entered into the government’s electronic system in 26 of October. Four days later, the COP26, the United Nations Climate Change Conference, began.

The representatives of the Brazilian government at the event participated in the international negotiations without mentioning the deforestation record.

At the last meeting of the year of the Amazon Council, held five days after the release of official data, Mourão took the blame for the failure of actions in the biome. “I’m not going to say that it was minister A, minister B or minister C. I couldn’t do the coordination and integration in the way it worked.”

The speech is different from the tone of the meeting of the day 26 of August. The minutes of the meeting —which have not been made public— show that the members of the council demonstrated an alignment with the false confirmation of reversal of deforestation.

Executive Secretary of the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation , Sergio Freitas de Almeida “talked about the drop in deforestation indicators that has been registered in the two systems, Prodes and Deter, through Inpe”. Deter gathers data from deforestation alerts. Inpe is linked to the Ministry of Science.

The folder was aware of the Prodes report, which officially consolidates the data, on the same day as the document was completed, 27 of October. And it doesn’t say why it stopped acting in the days before the COP26; it only states that Prodes is scheduled for release in December.

The executive secretary immediately amended the ministry’s policies associated with the attempt to combat deforestation in the Amazon: targeted “bioeconomy projects” the production chains of açaí, cupuaçu, Brazil nuts and pirarucu.

The ministry did not respond to the article’s questions.

The representative of the Ministry of Agriculture, Marcos Montes, “expressed his joy upon being informed that the trend of the serious problem of deforestation that we have is being reversed and thus improve the country’s image”.

According to the Executive Secretary, the portfolio “has sought to make strong progress in relation to issues of bioeconomy and territorial planning”, which would allow punishing those responsible for illegal deforestation.

In the MMA’s national plan to control illegal deforestation, the mentioned ordering concerns the destination, use and occupation of federal public lands. The bioeconomy includes timber production and extractivism.

For Ane Alencar, director of Ipam (Institute for Environmental Research in the Amazon), the Bolsonaro government’s policy for the occupation of spaces in the Amazon sends out signs that may result in land grabbing and deforestation.

“The sign is: ‘If we take this land today, we can take possession of it in the future.’ There is a clear sign of environmental disgovernance. The lack of public power putting order makes people feel free to earn money with new farms, logging and mining”, says Alencar.

Ipam data show that 27% of deforestation in the Amazon in 2020 focused on public lands.

The ministry stated that only “direct, tame and peaceful” occupation and exploitation prior to 24 of July 2008 is subject to regularization. “Land regularization does not encourage land grabbing and new irregular occupations”, he says, in a note. Occupations in conservation units, indigenous lands and areas of interest to the Union cannot be regularized, according to the note.

The representative of the Ministry of Defense in the council chaired by Mourão said that coordination is important made by the collegiate, presented data on the military intervention in the Amazon and stated that “any reduction in this effort will have an impact on the presented graphs”.

The three military interventions of the Armed Forces, made from decrees of GLO (guarantee of law and order) signed by Bolsonaro, cost R$ 235 millions and ended in a fiasco, with the explosion of deforestation. Mourão himself acknowledged the lack of success in military operations.

The Ministry of Defense did not respond to the report’s questions.

The Ministry of Mines e Energia praised the “decrease in deforestation rates” and detailed in the Amazon Council the actions aimed at regularizing mining operations on the Tapajós River, in Pará, through the formalization of mining permits. This formalization is in charge of the National Mining Agency.

Illegal mining in Tapajós directly impacts indigenous communities in the region. According to Carlos Souza Júnior, coordinator of the monitoring program at Imazon (Institute for Man and the Environment in the Amazon), many of the illegal mines are within protected territories.

To Alencar, from Ipam, the recovery and regularization of mining areas that spread across the Amazon is unimaginable. “These mine owners don’t have CNPJ, they remove the gold and change places all the time. It’s almost impossible to organize this. And there are health issues and irreversible impact.”

According to Ministry of Mines and Energy, a law 1989 allows the formalization of mining activities. “By fulfilling its environmental obligations, which include the environmental recovery of impacted areas, the mining activity carried out under the mining permit regime contributes to the preservation and recovery of the forest,” he said in a statement.

The Ministry of Economy also praised the reduction of deforestation, based on data from August, and said that it acted to guarantee “resources and people” aimed at sustainable development in the region.

Unlike the others present at the August 27 meeting, the Ministry of Infrastructure did not make any statement about a possible link between their actions and an alleged drop in deforestation. Instead, the representative of the folder only communicated advances in the search for the environmental license for the paving of the BR-235, which connects Manaus to Porto Velho.

Institutes that monitor the devastation of the Amazon, such as Ipam and Imazon, point to the highway as a focus of deforestation and illegal occupation of public lands. “BR-319 has a social role, but the challenge is the lack of occupation of public lands. roads are illegally opened by loggers and miners,” says Souza. According to him, 27% of deforestation is concentrated within five kilometers of these roads.

​The Bolsonaro government and the false reduction in deforestation in the Amazon

    Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation

      • What was said about deforestation in August:

      • “The executive secretary of the ministry, Sergio Freitas de Almeida, spoke about the drop in deforestation indicators that I see being registered in the two systems, Prodes and Deter, through Inpe.”
        • Ministry policies associated with false deforestation reduction: Stimulus to the bioeconomy.
    • What these policies mean:

        The production chains of açaí, cupuaçu, nut and pirarucu are mentioned.
    • Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Supply

          • What was said about deforestation in August: “The executive secretary of the ministry, Marcos Montes, expressed his joy upon being informed that the trend of the serious problem of deforestation that we have is being reversed and thus improve the country’s image.”
            • Ministry policies associated with false deforestation reduction: Territorial planning and stimulation of the bioeconomy.
  • What these policies mean:
      The order cited is the destination, use and occupation of areas on federal public land, seen by critics as a stimulus to land grabbing and to deforestation. Bioeconomy is related to the expansion of timber production and extractivism.
  • Defense Ministry

          What was said about deforestation in August:

            “The Chief of Staff of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Defense Ministry fleets, Major Brigadier Flávio Luiz de Oliveira Pinto, spoke of the most recent figures for Operation Samaúma, which the Defense believes was only possible due to the synergy provided by the council and that any reduction in this effort will impact the graphs presented .”
          • Ministry policies associated with the false reduction of the deforestation:
              Military intervention based on GLOs decreed by the president.

    What these policies mean:

      Three operations –Verde Brasil, Verde Brasil 2 and Samaúma– lasted 13 months, consumed R$ 319 million and ended up with a surge in deforestation in the Amazon.

      Ministry of Mines and Energy

    • What was said about deforestation in August:
        “The secretary of Geology, Mining and Mineral Transformation, Pedro Paulo Dias Mesquita, congratulated the action of the Council of the Amazon and the drop in deforestation rates, highlighting the importance of integrated action.”
  • Ministry policies associated with the false reduction of deforestation:
      Formalization of permission for mining in the Tapajós River region, in Pará.
      • What these policies mean:

          Illegal mining impacts indigenous communities in the region, increases deforestation and contaminates watercourses with mercury.

        Ministry of Economy

        • What’s it said about deforestation in August:
            “The Special Secretary for Productivity, Carlos Alexandre da Costa, expressed joy in seeing the data for August. After leaving the last council meeting, he spoke with various federations and associations to try to support the reversal of the data.”
          • Ministry policies associated with the false reduction of deforestation:
              Search for solutions for the distance of the main centers in relation to the Amazon and guarantee of resources and people for sustainable development.
              • What do these policies mean: The folder acts in the regulation of the ZEE (Ecological-Economic Zoning) and also in the destination of federal public land.

              Sources: Minutes of the 6th meeting of the National Council of the Legal Amazon l, held in 26.ago, and the National Plan for the Control of Illegal Deforestation 2021-2023, of the Ministry of the Environment.

              Related Articles

              Back to top button