Almost all deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon is illegal, and President Jair Bolsonar’s vow to eradicate the scourge is unrealistic due to a lack of transparency about the permitted land use in the region, officials said.
A report by academics and experts from environmental organizations, including Brazil’s World Wildlife Fund (WWF) branch, points out that 94% of deforestation in the Amazon and the Matopiba region, including parts of Maranhao, Tocantins, Piauí y Bahía , it is illegal.
The situation is caused by the inability of the authorities to document, for example, the legal use of the same land by farmers, ranchers or loggers, the report points out.
“The difference between legal and illegal logging is a key factor in ensuring that agricultural and forestry production is not stigmatized by environmental crime,” the text emphasizes.
Since the beginning of Bolsonar’s presidency in 2019, deforestation has peaked: over the twelve months to August 2020, deforestation in the Amazon has increased by 9.5%, destroying an area larger than Jamaica, according to official figures.
The far-right president is under strong international pressure to restore his government’s image of environmental issues. The food industry in this country, which is one of the largest exporters of soy and meat, is concerned about the consequences of this pressure.
Despite Jair Bolsonar’s promise to eliminate illegal logging by 2030, which the report’s writers found unrealistic, the Brazilian House of Representatives approved a law to mitigate environmental requirements for agricultural and energy projects.
This text, which has yet to be approved by the Senate, specifically stipulates that a simple written promise that environmental standards will be met will be enough to begin work on duplicating roads or power lines.