To accomplish this in his third term, he must step up environmental law enforcement, face a hostile Congress, and deal with a governor with strong ties to defeated far-right President Jair Bolsonaro.
If he is serious, the work will be immense. According to official statistics, deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon reached its highest level in 15 years from August 2020 to July 2021. Satellite monitoring shows that the 2022 trend is on track to outperform the previous year.
On the ground, the main task is to rebuild the Environmental Agency and the Brazilian Indigenous Authority. Da Silva also pledged to create a Ministry of Indigenous Peoples led by the Indigenous Peoples.
Under Bolsonaro, these have been led by appointees close to the agribusiness sector who have long promoted the legalization of land grabbing and opposed the creation of protected areas such as indigenous territories.
In 2023, the agribusiness sector, which backed Bolsonaro’s failed re-election bid, will control about half of Congress.
At the state level, six out of nine Amazon governors are Bolsonaro supporters, most of whom have strong ties to agribusiness. One of them, Marcos Rocha, from Rondonia, has garnered attention for honing his anti-environmental philosophies by clearing reserves in a nature reserve twice his size in New York City. He was re-elected two days later.
According to Caetano Scannavino, coordinator of Health & Happiness, an Amazon non-profit that supports sustainable projects in the Tapajos Basin, Da Silva used his ballot box support to voice his environmental concerns. have to push forward.
“Most Brazilians are against deforestation and violations of indigenous rights,” Scannavino said in a telephone interview with the Associated Press. “Da Silva must seize this commotion and bring together academics, non-profits and the more responsible sector of agribusiness. The challenge is to make the environment a national policy regardless of right or left. is.”
On the international front, da Silva’s promise to protect the world’s largest rainforest is already finding supporters. The Norwegian government has indicated it will resume performance-based multi-million dollar donations to fund anti-deforestation policies.
“Norway looks forward to revitalizing our extensive climate and forest partnership with Brazil,” Climate and Environment Minister Espen Barth-Eide wrote on his Twitter account.
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