Brazil authorities doing little to prevent deforestation: Report

by | Jul 20, 2022 | World

Environmental criminals in the Brazilian Amazon are responsible for the massive destruction of public forests, but the nation’s federal police have done little to prevent this ecological damage, a new study has found.According to the report (PDF), conducted by the Igarape Institute, a Brazilian think-tank, the destruction took place in state and federal forests that are “unallocated,” meaning they do not have a designated use the way national parks and Indigenous territories do.
The study analysed 302 environmental crime raids carried out by the federal police in the Amazon between 2016 and 2021. Only 2 percent targeted people illegally seizing undesignated public lands.
“This analysis found that protected areas of the Amazon, including Indigenous Lands, Conservation Units and Permanent Protection Areas, have been increasingly impacted by the ecosystem of environmental crime, principally illegal logging and gold mining,” according to the study.
The report came amid rising global concerns about deforestation in the Amazon, the world’s largest rainforest, and the environmental impact it could have on Brazil and in the region. It comes as nations around the world are suffering from unprecedented heatwaves that experts have said are likely caused by climate change.
More than a third of deforestation is happening on ‘unallocated’ lands, without designated uses and fewer protections [File: Andre Penner/AP]
Almost half of Brazil’s climate pollution comes from deforestation, according to an annual study from the Brazilian nonprofit network Climate Observatory. The destruction is so vast that the eastern Amazon has ceased to be a carbon sink, or absorber, for the Earth and has converted into a carbon source, according to a study published in 2021 in the journal Nature.
The study also came amid rising criticisms of the environmental policies of far-right President Jair Bolsonaro, who has encouraged more mining in the Amazon, in o …

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