Brazilian president, Jair Bolsonaro, is actively trying to devastate the Amazon rainforest, leaked documents have revealed.
The documents reveal arguments put forward by Bolsonaro stating that a strong government presence in the Amazon region is important to prevent any conservation projects going forward.
According to the leaked information. the Brazilian government is intending to build bridges, motorways, and a hydroelectric plant in the rainforest, and they’re hoping to ‘fight off international pressure’ from organisations aiming to protect the Amazon.
The Independent reports that the plans were leaked to political website openDemocracy and include a PowerPoint presentation believed to have been presented at a meeting between government officials and local leaders in Para state, home to the Amazonia National Park.
Brazilian ministers put forward plans for the region, mentioning a priority to strategically occupy the rainforest.
The slide reads, as per openDemocracy:
Development projects must be implemented on the Amazon basin to integrate it into the rest of the national territory in order to fight off international pressure for the implementation of the so-called ‘Triple A’ project.
To do this, it is necessary to build the Trombetas River hydroelectric plant, the Óbidos bridge over the Amazon River, and the implementation of the BR-163 highway to the border with Suriname.
Gaia Amazonas, leads the conservation project called the ‘Triple A’ (Andes, Amazon and Atlantic) which aims to conserve 265 million square kilometers of jungle and ‘the lungs of our world’.
But Brazil’s controversial president, appears to be sabotaging this effort as devastating fires rage through the Amazon. These fires are causing a loss equivalent to three football fields per minute, according to the latest data.
Covering northwestern Brazil and extending into Colombia, Peru and six other South American countries – the rainforest has been burning for weeks, plunging Brazil’s Sao Paulo into darkness and devastating the Amazon.
If the fire continues to burn at its current rate, this will be the first month in several years that Brazil loses an area of forest bigger than Greater London, with many fearing a recovery will be impossible.
Bolsonaro claims that his government ‘lacks the resources’ to extinguish the fire, although environmental groups are now placing the blame for the devastation directly on him.
Richard George, head of forests at Greenpeace, told The Independent:
The whole area around the Amazon has been highly volatile with loggers and farmers, and Bolsonaro has absolutely lit a torch under that.
The fire currently sweeping across the region was reportedly started as farmers announced a coordinated ‘day of fire’ on August 10, due to the president giving the go-ahead for farmers and illegal loggers and miners to enter indigenous communities.
The Amazon rainforest provides 20 per cent of the world’s oxygen, Business Insider reports, and is home to one-fifth of all wildlife species on earth. If it continues to burn it would not only stop producing this oxygen and supporting wildlife, but it could also worsen climate change.
There is the potential for 140 billion tonnes of carbon stored in the Amazon, to be released into the atmosphere and cause global temperatures to rise even further, with devastating consequences for all life on earth.
Since the devastating fire was made public knowledge, millions rallied together to sign a petition urging the Brazilian government to ban the burning of the Amazon.
You can sign the petition to put an end to the burning of the rainforest here.