After a year in which Amazon deforestation broke records, Jair Bolsonaro downplayed the news on Wednesday (20) and said that it would never end in Brazil.
He said that both deforestation and fires are cultural practices in the country. The president was asked if he would take any measures to reduce deforestation. "You won't end deforestation or burning. It's cultural," he said.
Between August 2018 and July 2019, Brazil broke the record in this decade in the destruction of the Amazon rainforest. According to the Prodes (Amazon Deforestation Calculation Program) monitoring system, 9,762 km² of the Amazon forest were deforested, an increase of 29.5% compared to the previous year.
According to Carlos Nobre, a retired INPE researcher and member of the Brazilian Academy of Sciences, there has been a culture of deforestation since the arrival of the Portuguese in Brazil. He explains that during the military dictatorship, for example, it was necessary to clear the properties donated by the government to obtain loans from Banco do Brasil for agricultural production.
Translated by Kiratiana Freelon