Brazil issues a fire ban, deploys military to fight the flames of Amazon | Climate News


Similar orders have done little in recent years to stop deforestation and illegal logging in the critical Amazon rainforest.

As Brazil collapses from its worst drought in decades, President Jair Bolsonaro has issued a broad 120-day ban on unauthorized fires outside ahead of the annual burn season in the Amazon rainforest.

The decree, published Tuesday in the government’s official bulletin, comes a day after Bolsonaro redistributed the military in an effort to stop deforestation in the world’s largest rainforest.

Deforestation has skyrocketed under the far-right leader, reaching a maximum of twelve years by 2020, as an area was reduced seven times that of London, according to the National Space Research Institute (INPE ). Last year, the region also recorded more fires since 2017, the agency said.

Bolsonaro has been widely criticized for his “exploiter”Focus on natural resources and face the international outcry that is Brazil not doing enough to stop the destruction of the Amazon, a vital bulwark for climate change.

Overview of a section of the Amazon jungle that burns as it was cleared by loggers and farmers near Apui, Amazon state, Brazil, on August 11, 2020 [File: Ueslei Marcelino/Reuters]

Preliminary INPE data showed that deforestation increased by 25% during the first five months of 2021 compared to a year ago.

Brazilian military deployment will be restricted to 26 municipalities in four states: Amazonas, Mato Grosso, Pará and Rondônia. The previous deployments were for the entire Amazon region.

Bolsonaro authorized the current deployment until the end of August.

None of the policies have previously been effective in reducing deforestation or forest fires. In general, the criminals first cut down valuable wood and later set fire to the area, clearing it for future agricultural use in speculative land seizures.

The Brazilian Minister of the Environment, Ricardo Salles resigned on June 24th during a criminal investigation into whether he obstructed an illegal logging police investigation in the Amazon.

Salles had acted as chief negotiator in talks with U.S. President Joe Biden’s administration to reach an agreement to protect the rainforest during the April climate leaders’ summit in April, though those negotiations they stagnated.

Bolsonaro had wanted to billions of dollars in advance, but indigenous groups and climate activists in Brazil warned that no money should be given to the Brazilian president.

Meteorological risks

As deforestation continues, scientists warn the fire risk it’s bigger this year due to the extreme drought, with many parts of the Amazon registering a drier climate than last year.

Between September and May, hydroelectric power plants across the country have recorded the lowest water inflows in 91 years, according to the Ministry of Mines and Energy.

The Amazon Environmental Research Institute (IPAM) nonprofit warned in a statement that global weather patterns increase the risk of fires.

“To make matters worse, this is a year affected by the girl, which makes it especially dry in the southern Amazon, “IPAM said, adding that this” widens the window of deforestation and burning. “

The fire season, which usually peaks in August and September, is starting to accelerate, with 23 major fires recorded so far this year, according to Matt Finer, who leads a monitoring project of non-profit fires for Amazon Conservation.

All the fires occurred in the state of Mato Grosso, in the southeastern tip of the Amazon, according to Finer on Reuters.

A participant holds a poster while participating in a global climate strike rally in Bogota, Colombia, on September 20, 2019. The poster reads “Bolsonaro Enough to destroy the Amazon” [File: Luisa Gonzalez/Reuters]

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