Environment Minister Celebrates Reduction of Amazon Fires in September

Two months ago, Ricardo Salles said Inpe's numbers on deforestation did not reflect reality

Rubens Valente
Brasília

Two months after criticizing the data collected by the National Institute for Space Research (INPE) on the Amazon, Environment Minister Ricardo Salles used figures from the same institute to praise his management on social media.

This Wednesday (2), Salles celebrated the lowest number of fires in the country for September since 2013. The source of the data is Inpe, as credited by the site Poder360.

Fire in Rondonia . (Foto: André Cran/Folhapress) - Folhapress

The minister published: "Lower number of burnings for September since 2013", along with a graphic of the Poder360 website. In September this year, there were 19,900 fire outbreaks. In 2013, in the same month, there were 16.7 thousand.

The September cut by Salles, however, ignores the accumulated date in the first nine months of the year. Considering the history of the last ten years, 2019 is the third-worst year in the period from January to September, according to Inpe data.

With 66.7 thousand outbreaks of fires, the period was only below 2010 (102 thousand records) and 2017 (70.8 thousand). Compared to last year, when 46,900 outbreaks were recorded in the same period January-September, 2019 has seen a 42% increase in fire outbreaks so far.

Different members of the Bolsonaro government have criticized Inpe. In late July, Salles said Inpe's deforestation figures did not reflect reality and, in early August, said the government would contract a new satellite monitoring system.

Translated by Kiratiana Freelon

Read the article in the original language