Minister says it would be irrelevant to disclose deforestation data before COP26

The Minister of the Environment, Joaquim Leite, once again denied that Inpe (National Institute for Space Research) has delayed the release of data on deforestation in the Amazon for the period after the COP26, UN conference on climate change.

“I had contact on the exact same day you had contact “, said the minister on Monday (13).

He also stated that disclose the information before or after the conference would make no difference. “This was not the time to point out weaknesses. It would be irrelevant to point this number sooner or later, because we were seeking multilateral consensus”, he said.

Leite participated in a press statement about the results of the COP26 alongside ministers Carlos França (Foreign Affairs) and Tereza Cristina (Agriculture, Livestock and Supply).

The INPE document with data from Prodes ( Project for Monitoring Deforestation in the Legal Amazon by Satellite) attests to the devastation of 13.235 km2 between August 2020 and July 2020 , the highest index since 2006. The number represents an increase of 13% over the period previous.

As the Sheet showed, Inpe concluded the data in 26 of October and entered the report in the federal government’s electronic information system on the same day, but it was only made available on the last Thursday, 18 of November —period after the COP26, which took place in Glasgow, Scotland, between days 27 of October and 12 of November.

The Minister of the Environment also said that Inpe may have held the data for “caution” in the review of information on deforestation.

During the COP26 , the Brazilian delegation was criticized by climate activists for not disclosing Prodes, considered more accurate than another Inpe system, Deter —whose most recent data came out on the day , at the end of the event, but were not commented on in Glasgow by Minister Joaquim Leite.

Leite again stated that deforestation data are “unacceptable” and that the government will act in a “strong” way against environmental crimes in the Amazon. Last week, the minister announced the expansion of Operation Guardians of the Biome.

“It is time to act on our main weakness, which is illegal deforestation,” said the minister.

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