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How Jair Bolsonaro Is Boosting Deforestation

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Aerial view of the Amazon rainforest, near Manaus the capital of the Brazilian state of Amazonas. Neil Palmer / CIAT / Flickr / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Right-wing Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro's administration has pushed pause on monitoring industry in protected areas of the Amazon, the New York Times reports.


An analysis of public records by the Times shows that enforcement actions, like fines and warnings against loggers, ranchers and miners illegally operating in the Amazon, have dropped by 20 percent since the Bolsonaro administration took power seven months ago. Over that same time period, government figures show the Amazon has lost more than 1,330 square miles of forest cover — a nearly 40 percent increase from 2018.

The Times report comes as Bolsonaro has raised his rhetoric on the Amazon in recent weeks, calling the government's own deforestation figures "lies" last week and telling foreign journalists "the Amazon is ours, not yours."


For a deeper dive:

News: New York Times

Commentary: The Guardian editorial, Bloomberg, Mac Margolis op-ed

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