Brazilian President Posonalo and his government officials often stress that “Brazil is the most environmentally friendly country in the world” when talking about environmental issues, but its arguments have been attacked by experts.
Although official data show that deforestation has increased in the Amazon since 2012 and has intensified this year, Jair Bolsonaro has questioned the authenticity of the information and insisted that Brazil is a model for protecting the environment. There is a lot of experience to teach other countries.
The argument that “Brazil is the most environmentally friendly country in the world” is based on the report of the agricultural economist Evaristo Eduardo de Miranda, head of the territorial department of the Brazilian agricultural and livestock research company (Embrapa) affiliated with the Brazilian Ministry of Agriculture.
However, his arguments have been questioned by scientists and environmentalists, and even within Brazil’s agricultural research companies.
Miranda uses the United Nations-managed World Database on Protected Areas to compile information on legally protected areas and compare the performance of the top 10 countries in terms of territorial expansion. Brazil ranks first, with 29% of territories (including protection units). And Aboriginal land are protected; the average of 10 countries in Australia, China, the United States, Russia, Canada, Argentina, Algeria, India and Kazakhstan is 10%.
However, compared with countries in the world, Brazil is still behind the world average and still lags behind more than 20 countries, such as Germany (38%), Greece (35%), New Zealand (32%), and Venezuela (54%). , Bolivia (30%) and Congo (41%).
Raoni Rajao, a professor at the Federal University of Minas Gerais (UFMG) in Brazil, agreed that Miranda pointed out in the report that the coverage of native vegetation in Brazil is over 60%. However, in his view, this index does not prove that Brazil is the leader in the field of protection.
According to the Map of Brazil’s Ecosystems (MapBiomas), between 1985 and 2017, 20% of the forests in the private sector were deforested or degraded; in the same period, the local forests of protected units and Aboriginal land lost less than 1%, while others in other public areas were low. At 5%.
The deforestation area of the “statutory Amazon region”, including northern Brazil and part of Maranhao and Mato Grosso, fell from 27,800 square kilometers in 2004 to the lowest historical result in 2012. 4,600 square kilometers, mainly due to the improvement of satellite monitoring systems, strengthening monitoring and suppression.
According to the Brazilian Bureau of Geography and Statistics (IBGE), deforestation has not inhibited agricultural development, while agricultural and livestock production (GDP) grew by 80%.
But then, data from the Brazilian National Space Agency (Inpe) showed that deforestation continued to grow. Information from August 2017 to July 2018 showed that the local forest loss in the region was 7,900 square kilometers, an increase of 15% over the previous 12 months.
Preliminary data for 2019 also pointed to a deterioration in the situation: the Inpe system pointed out that the deforestation area in the legal Amazon region reached 920.4 square kilometers last month, an increase of 88% compared with June 2018. Environmentalists believe that the area of deforestation has increased, reflecting the weakening of protection policies.
Maria Tereza Padua, an environmental activist known as the “Mother of Brazil’s National Parks”, said that Brazil is not an example of environmental protection and should not be compared to developed countries in the past. Rich countries have apparently cut more forests because biodiversity is not as important today; but they also make great efforts to restore vegetation losses.
According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, from 1990 to 2016, the EU’s forest cover increased from 35% to 38%. During the same period, the US index rose from 33% to 34%, China from 16.7% to 22.3%, and Brazil from 65.4% to 59%.