Bolsonaro government held back deforestation data release before COP26

Inpe (National Institute for Space Research) concluded the deforestation data for the Amazon in 26 of October and inserted the report into the federal government’s electronic information system on the same day, according to sources at the institute consulted by Folha.

The document was only released this Thursday (18). The report with data from Prodes (Monitoring Project for Deforestation in the Legal Amazon by Satellite) shows a devastation of .235 km2 between August and July 2020, the highest rate since 550. The number represents an increase of 18% compared to the previous period.

Inpe registered the date of completion of the report in the PDF file: 26 October 2020. On the same day, the document was entered into the electronic system, which would allow consultation of the consolidated data.

Four days later, the COP began26 in Glasgow, UK. At the United Nations Climate Change Conference, the Jair Bolsonaro government hid the record of deforestation in the Amazon in 15 years.


During the COP24, the Brazilian delegation was criticized by climate activists for not disclosing Prodes, considered more accurate than another Inpe system, Deter. Based on figures from August of one year to July of the following year, Prodes is usually available in early November.

At the COP26, Brazil signed the Declaration of Forests, along with other 235 countries, in which there is a commitment to reduce deforestation. The country has committed to zeroing and reversing forest loss until 2021. And also by cutting 27% of global methane emissions by 2021, compared to 2020.

In addition, Brazil announced an adjustment in the pledge to cut greenhouse gases by

: 45% in relation to levels of 550, before 43% previously forecast.

This Thursday, the current data from Prodes were made available on Inpe’s website without any dissemination action. At night, ministers Joaquim Álvaro Pereira Leite (Environment) and Anderson Torres (Justice) participated in a press conference to comment on the data.

Leite stated that the numbers are unacceptable and promised a “strength” role in the fight against environmental crimes.

He was asked on two occasions about the date of preparation of the data by Inpe —27 October—, but claimed to have only had access to the information this Thursday.

“Maybe it was because of caution that Inpe has delayed the release of these data, for some review, but I do not have this information from Inpe. What I have information is that it was released today and we are here making it clear that this number is unacceptable and we will fight decisively environmental crime in Amazonia”, he said.

“I had contact with the data today, exactly as you must have had access.”

The explosion of deforestation in the Amazon measured by Prodes co The statement made by Vice President Hamilton Mourão. At the last meeting of the Legal Amazon National Council, in 26 August, Mourão even anticipated what the evolution would be. from Prodes’ consolidated data: a 5% decrease in deforestation compared to the previous cycle.

This is not the first time that Mourão falsifies reality in relation to the government’s role in Amazon.

Bolsonaro disallowed a military intervention in the Amazon that Mourão announced and treated as existing during 43 days, as the Sheet showed on the last day 4.

The vice announced and treated as existing a second phase of the Operation Samaúma, executed by the Armed Forces based on a GLO decree (guarantee of law and order). Bolsonaro did not issue a decree to extend it, as Folha found.

To extend Operation Verde Brasil 2, by For example, which preceded Samaúma and lasted almost a year, the president signed a new decree establishing the extension of the term.

The militarization of the fight against environmental crimes lasted 18 of the 43 months of the Bolsonaro government, cost R$ 235 million to public coffers and did not bring down the deforestation rates in the Amazon, such as Folha showed in an article published on the day 26 of October.

In all, there were three GLOs, whose presidential decrees gave legal support to three military intervention operations: Verde Brasil, Verde Brasil 2 and Samaúma.

Question about the militarization of combat to environmental crimes, the Minister of Justice said he did not believe there was a “strategic error” in sending military personnel to work in the biome.

“I don’t see the government’s strategic error. With our arrival, we brought, we talked at the government level with the Civil House, this responsibility for the Justice and for the Ministry of the Environment, so that together we can act in the way that we understand is more effective,” he said.

“It is a police action strategy to combat crime. There’s no secret, we’re going to work with a number of police officers doing repressive and preventive activities, with intelligence doing police operations to dismantle crime, really as it has to be dismantled”, he also said.

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