“There comes a time when the broth spills. And the juice has been spilled in our time, ”said Vice President Hamilton Mourão, denying the Bolsonaro government’s responsibility for increasing deforestation and burning in the Amazon.
“The problems have not occurred since January 1st,” said the President of the Amazonas Council at a press conference that took place on Thursday (5) in Manaus on the second day of a federal delegation’s trip to the Amazon.
Scheduled for three days, it was planned to change Brazil’s negative image towards foreign governments calling for better forest protection and control of deforestation and fires, which broke records in 2020.
The delegation arrived in Amazon last Wednesday (4) and brought together the Vice-President, who is also President of the Amazon Council, Environment Minister Ricardo Salles from the Institutional Security Office, Augusto Heleno, and Defense, Fernando Azevedo. The visit by the Minister of Health and Foreign Affairs has been canceled.
The heads of diplomatic missions from ten countries also took part in the trip: South Africa, Peru, Spain, Colombia, Canada, Sweden, Germany, United Kingdom, France and Portugal, as well as representatives from ACTO (Organization of the Amazonian Cooperation Treaty) and European Union and foreign journalists.
The lack of control over the fires and the rate of deforestation in the Amazon led eight countries to send a letter to the Bolsonaro government in September threatening to cut imports of Brazilian products if Brazil failed to take effective action to combat forest destruction would have.
According to Inpe (National Institute for Space Research), 94,437 fires were recorded in the Amazon from January to November 4, 5% more than the 89,176 outbreaks recorded last year.
Deforestation warnings in the Amazon rose by 34.5% between August 2019 and July 2020 compared to the same period last year, emphasizes Inpe.
The route excludes critical areas
Also on Wednesday the delegation flew over the BR-163 region in Pará and the metropolitan region of Manaus (RMM). The path chosen by the government has been criticized by environmentalists for failing to cover areas where deforestation and fires are most critical, such as the Apuí region of the southern Amazon, which the schedule ignored.
Greenpeace even published an alternative route for representatives of the ten countries, which would also lead to the south of the Amazon through Parna (national park) and Flona (national forest) Jamanxin, Esec (Ecological Station Terra do Meio and TI). (Indigenous Land) Cachoeira Seca in Pará, where illegal mining and deforestation grow.
“Despite the cloudy weather, it was possible to see protected areas and other areas affected by illegal mining and fires,” Mourão justified the route by saying that the Amazon was “very large” and it was “impossible” to see all of these areas in just three Days to show. .
Because of this, the government decided to fly over areas with “scars” in the forest, as areas of recent deforestation are called, as well as protected areas and federal programs such as settlements, the vice president said.
The most criticized production models in the Amazon, which involve large monocultures and large-scale deforestation of farm animals, were not “visited” during the transfer.
For Minister Augusto Heleno, reports by environmentalists and journalists about “giant fires” in the Amazon are “not the truth”.
“We have 85% of the preserved forest. In the event of a major fire in the Amazon, the smoke would reach London, ”said the minister, who acknowledged that the fire fighting had been delayed. “There was a delay, our resources were limited, we were in the middle of a pandemic.”
In Manaus, the delegation also visited the fourth (4) military facilities such as Cigs (Integrated Center for War in the Jungle) and Censipam (Center for Management and Operation of the Amazon Protection System).
This Thursday (5) the program included a visit to the PIC (Integrated Colonization Project) Bela Vista in Iranduba, metropolitan area of Manaus, a tour of the water meeting and a visit to the environmental crime investigation laboratory of the PF (Federal Police)) in Amazonas and a reception at the CMA ( Centro Militar da Amazônia), where the press conference took place, which started about two hours late.
On the last day of the visit to the Amazon, the delegation led by Mourão will continue to the Alto Rio Negro region in the São Gabriel da Cachoeira municipality, where he will visit the Indigenous Health Support House, and to the Maturacá municipality, where they will catch the train of being hit by the army border.