The Amazon and its indigenous tribes, in suspense with Bolsonaro in power

The arrival of far-right Jair Bolsonaro to power in Brazil has the Amazon and its indigenous tribes in suspense over the proposals of the president-elect to end the "Shiite environmentalism", the "industry of the fine" on rural producers and to question the Agreement from Paris.

Civil society organizations and official institutions warn that the plans of the future Brazilian president on environmental policy pose a "threat" to the largest tropical forest on the planet.

A group of researchers from the state-run National Institute of Space Studies estimates that, if the promises of the far right are materialized, deforestation in the Amazon may triple.

In its government program, 81 pages, there is no section for conservation initiatives and the word "environment" is only written once to indicate that it will create a "new federal agricultural structure" that will be responsible for both agribusiness, the management of the "rural environment".

"There can be no Shiite environmentalism in Brazil," he said in an interview on TV Bandeirantes.

However, the military recognized this week the possibility of going back to merge the Ministries of Agriculture and Environment, but stressed that "it will not impede the life of who wants to produce in Brazil."

"We are 200 million inhabitants and one of the things that are working is the question of agribusiness and family farming, we can not hinder progress," he said in one of his live sessions on social networks.

Bolsonaro, a nostalgic of the military dictatorship (1964-1985), also wants to reduce the time for the granting of environmental licenses, put an end to the "industry" of fines for producers by the supervising bodies and stop the demarcation of new land for native peoples.

In Brazil there are about 600 indigenous reserves, equivalent to 13% of the national territory, but many other areas claimed by different tribes are still waiting to be legally delimited.

The indigenous people have offered to "live off royalties" from "mining" and from "possible hydroelectric plants that could be built" on their land, as well as from "exploitation of biodiversity."

"It is a threat because of what it proposes" because, on the one hand, it "weakens the control" and "the fight against environmental crime" and, on the other, it raises "actions that can lead to an increase in deforestation", says Efe Marcio Astrini, public policy coordinator of Greenpeace Brazil.

For the president of the Pastoral Land Commission, Bishop André de Witte, "Bolsonaro's position would be really disastrous" because it will open the doors to "agribusiness" and extractive industry, with which "the value of nature preserved will be totally harmed. "

According to Greenpeace, deforestation in the 70s amounted to only 1% of the total of the Amazon, today reaches 18% and researchers already warn that if it reaches 20-25%, the ecosystem would begin to collapse in a irreversible.

"Time is against us and now we have" Bolsonaro "saying that it is going to worsen a situation that is already bad," warns Astrini.

Bolsonaro also left in the air to abandon the Paris Agreement, but this week he qualified his words and denied that Brazil would ignore the pact, although he questioned it since, in his opinion, it endangers national sovereignty.

In this sense, it conditioned to maintain the agreement if it explicitly denies the possibility of creating an ecological corridor that covers the Andes and the Amazon to the Atlantic, a project known as Triple AAA.

Currently, Brazil, one of the largest food producers, is the seventh largest carbon emitter in the world, with more than 65% of them attributed to agriculture and deforestation, according to data from the Coalición Brasil multisectoral movement.

In this regard, the Brazilian Public Prosecutor's Office created a rapid intervention group this month against the deforestation of large areas in the Amazon and assures that it will continue to act in the next few years in the same way to conserve it.

Greenpeace will not take a step back and Astrini warns: "We will continue fighting for the preservation of the jungle, fighting so that (Bolsonaro) does not make those promises."

Carlos Meneses Sánchez


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