This has been one of his government’s priorities since returning to power. Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva presented a new plan on Monday to combat illegal deforestation in the Amazon. “Brazil, especially thanks to the Amazon forest, has great importance in the climatic balance of the planet (…) preventing the deforestation of the Amazon is also helping to reduce global warming,” said Lula during a reception at the presidential palace in Brasilia.
The plan, which includes several hundred objectives, provides for example the immediate seizure of half of the illegally exploited areas inside protected areas. By 2027, three million hectares of these conservation areas will be demarcated. In addition, he announces the hiring of thousands of analysts to strengthen surveillance, as well as the creation of an “Amazonia label” to promote the sustainable economy.
Environmental protection, Brazil’s priority
This project marks the return of the environmental theme as a “priority, after four in indifference and abandonment”, welcomed Lula, on the occasion of World Environment Day. The left-wing president, accompanied in particular by his Minister of the Environment Marina Silva, then referred to the mandate of the former far-right leader Jair Bolsonaro (2019-2022), during which the average annual deforestation increased by 75 % compared to the previous decade.
The program resumes the one created in 2004 during the first presidency of Lula (2003-2006), but put on hold by Jair Bolsonaro. Back in power since January, Lula has made environmental protection one of his priorities, and wants to see Brazil become a global example by reducing its greenhouse gas emissions and ending deforestation. illegal by 2030.
The cadastre of rural lands
The presentation of the plan, however, comes a week after the conservative Congress dealt several blows to the president and his agenda on the matter. The Ministry of the Environment has seen its competences with regard to the cadastre of rural lands – an essential lever for monitoring and combating illegal deforestation – and the management of water resources, withdrawn by the deputies.
For the executive, these setbacks are a lesser evil that can avoid a complete restructuring of the team composed by Lula. The government will keep the same priorities despite this step backwards, said Marina Silva to the press, assuring that everything would be done internally “so that the implementation [du plan] not be compromised”.