The monitoring of deforestation in the cerrado by Inpe (National Institute for Space Research) could end in 2022, if a new source of funds is not found. There are only resources to continue the work for the next three or four months.
On the last day of 2021, Inpe released the high data on deforestation in the cerrado, savannah most biodiverse on the planet and which has great importance for the country, especially when considering the role of water producer in the biome, feeding several hydrographic basins.
The cerrado lost 8.531 km² from August 2020 to July 2021, according to data from Prodes cerrado — higher value since 2015— and 7. km² in the previous year.
Prodes and Deter are Inpe’s programs that accompany deforestation in the biome.
Both projects are not part of the Union’s budget and, therefore, depend on extra-budgetary resources. The monitoring program has already received funds from Germany and the Ministry of the Environment, for the period of structuring and building the maps.
Since 2015, the Monitoring is supported with resources from the FIP (Forest Investment Program), with management by the World Bank and support from the MCTI (Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation). The problem is that the funding source had a deadline: 2020. The validity of the financing, however, ended up being extended until December 2021.
Now, past 2021, it is still uncertain how monitoring will continue. According to Folha found, there is an expectation in the monitoring team that some resource will appear to keep at least part of the active programs.
There is also already movement at Inpe in search of funds.
Folha questioned Inpe, the Ministry of the Environment and the MCTI about the situation and possible solutions . There was no response until the publication of this report.
The suspension of monitoring was already on the radar of researchers at Inpe. In September of last year, during a live by the Environmentalist Parliamentary Front, Luis Maurano, a scientist from Inpe, pointed out that FIP funding would only go until the end of 2021 and that, after that, it will not it would be possible to add more time.
From June 2015 until the end of last year, according to Maurano, the program would have received about US$ 4 .4 million.
“It is a low-cost project compared to the value that these data have for the market, but we have no investment”, said to the G1 portal Cláudio Almeida, coordinator of the monitoring program of the Amazon and other biomes. According to him, it would take R$ 2.5 million a year to keep the monitoring working.
For comparison, motorcycles in support of President Jair Bolsonaro (PL) have already cost the coffers around R$ 5 million according to a survey by Folha, an amount that would allow for two years of monitoring. Such expenses take into account expenses with the payment card of the federal government, informed by the General Secretariat of the Presidency, and the expenses assumed by the states to guarantee the safety of the population and the entourage of Bolsonaro.
Bolsonaro and members of his government constantly complain about the attention paid to deforestation data in Brazil. In 2016, the president even said that the deforestation data in the Amazon did not correspond to reality and that the then director of Inpe, Ricardo Galvão, could be “at the service of some NGO” .
Bolsonaro’s speech was answered by Galvão, who, after the case, ended up exonerating from his position.