Bolsonaro dismissing deforestation figures as ‘lies’


Deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon. (Photo courtesy of Greenpeace)

The latest deforestation report from Brazil’s National Institute for Space Research (INPE) was worrisome enough. The agency recently announced that in the 12 months ending on July 31, 2018—the most recent survey period for which definitive figures are available—8.5% more land was cleared in Brazil’s Amazon region than in the previous 12-month period. Further, INPE said the estimated deforestation total for June of this year was 88.4% above the level estimated for June 2018. Even more unsettling to scientists and environmental advocates, however, was the reaction of Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, who took office in January after campaigning on a platform hostile to environmental regulation and supportive of agricultural and mining expansion. This month, Bolsonaro questioned the figures and went so far as to accuse the widely respected INPE of lying about forest-loss levels and of being in the thrall of non-governmental groups. In a... [Log in to read more]

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