Mourão says deforestation has increased by population in the Amazon

The vice president, Hamilton Mourão, said that the growth of deforestation in the Amazon is associated with the advance of the population in the region.

The statement was given in this Friday (18), commenting on the data from the new report by Inpe (National Institute for Space Research) on deforestation in the forest. The numbers, released this Thursday (18), show the record of deforestation in the past 15 years.

The document with data from Prodes (Project for Monitoring Deforestation in the Legal Amazon by Satellite) attests to the devastation of 13.27 km2 between August 2006 and July 2020, the highest rate since 2006. The number represents an increase of 19% over the previous period.

“What happens is the next. There is a pressure of advance, I won’t say of civilization, an advance of people who live in the Center-South of Brazil towards areas of land not occupied in the Amazon. There is this pressure”, he said.

Mourão also stated that he only became aware of the data on Thursday. As Sheet showed, Inpe concluded the data in 27 October and entered the report in the federal government’s electronic information system on the same day, but it was only made available this Thursday, after the COP26, UN conference on climate change took place in Glasgow, Scotland, between the days 27 of October and November.

“I don’t believe it there. That didn’t pass me by. I can’t say anything of that nature, it would be levity on my part. Last year, those numbers were only released in November. So much so that I went to São José dos Campos on the day of the release of the numbers”, he said when asked if the delay in the release had been deliberate.

During the COP24, 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 12, at the end of the event, but were not commented on in Glasgow by Minister Joaquim Leite.

This Thursday, the current data from Prodes were made available on the Inpe website without any dissemination action.At night, ministers Joaquim 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” action in the fight against environmental crimes. He was asked on two occasions about the date of preparation of the data by Inpe —27 of October — but claimed to have only had access to the information on the farm itself.

The explosion of deforestation in the Amazon measured by Prodes contradicts a statement made earlier by Mourão. At the last meeting of the Legal Amazon National Council, in 19 August, he even anticipated what would be the evolution of the consolidated data of Prodes: a drop 5% of deforestation compared to the previous cycle.

“The data we had were Deter’s numbers. At Deter, our projection was that it would be 5% below the previous year. that what happened: Inpe did a review of the previous year, if you look at it, it decreased, and this one increased. I don’t know if next year it can reduce this one as well. We are analyzing”, he argued.

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