Deforestation in the Atlantic Forest between 2018 and 2019 grew by around 27% compared to the previous period, data from the NGO SOS Mata Atlântica released on Wednesday (27), Atlantic Forest Day.
The biome's increased destruction has accompanied the widespread devastation in the Amazon and the cerrado during the first year of the Jair Bolsonaro government (without a party) ).
The deforestation of 14,502 hectares was concentrated in Bahia, Minas Gerais (on the border of the cerrado) and Paraná (in areas with araucarias), which registered increases of 78%, 47%, and 35%, respectively, in destruction.
At the same time, Alagoas, Ceará, Espírito Santo, Goiás, Paraíba, Pernambuco, Rio de Janeiro, Rio Grande do Norte and São Paulo managed to achieve zero deforestation (below 3 hectares).
According to Mario Mantovani, director of public policies at the Fundação SOS Mata Atlântica, the Bolsonaro government's discourse, that "it can do anything and that it no longer has a law", may be linked to growth in deforestation.
Since the presidential campaign, Bolsonaro has criticized environmental inspection and talked about an alleged environmental fine industry in Brazil. While still a federal deputy, the president was fined by Ibama for irregular fishing and did not pay the infraction with most environmental fines in the country. In July last year, Ibama stated that Bolsonaro's infraction had expired in 2018.
In the first year of the Bolsonaro government, Brazil had the lowest number of environmental fines in the past 24 years.
Translated by Kiratiana Freelon