(Brazil) Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro and Environment Minister Joachim Light both knew before the United Nations Climate Summit in Glasgow that the rate of deforestation in the Amazon had soared. However, they preferred to withhold the information.
According to three ministers who agreed to speak to the Associated Press on condition of anonymity, the president withheld the data so as not to harm negotiations.
This data from the National Institute for Space Research’s Prodes Monitoring System, released Thursday, reveals that the Amazon lost 13,235 square kilometers of rainforest during the 12-month baseline period from August 2020. through July 2021.
This is a 22% increase over the previous analysis period and the worst rate in 15 years.
The three ministers and an official from the Space Institute stress that the data was available long before the negotiations that began on October 31 in Glasgow.
Six days ago, during a meeting at the presidential palace, Jair Bolsonaro and several ministers discussed the results of deforestation in 2020-2021 and agreed not to announce it until the end of the climate summit.
Two of the three ministers who spoke with the Palestinian Authority attended the meeting.
On the same day this decision was made, the government instituted a program to promote green development. Then, the leaders’ speeches took on the likeness of repetition in order to project a responsible picture of the environment in Glasgow after two years of historically high deforestation.
One of the two ministers who took part in the controversial meeting said the government’s decision to withhold data was part of a strategy to rebuild its environmental credibility in the eyes of the international community.
According to the minister himself, it was not about lying, but rather putting forward more positive data, including a noticeable decline in the initial data on deforestation according to another monitoring system called Dieter.
Bolsonaro boasted of the data during his speech to the United Nations General Assembly in September. However, data from Deter’s system has skyrocketed since then. Strengthening evidence that deforestation continues to accelerate.
Data from the Deter system is available on a monthly basis and is an indication of more comprehensive annual results than from the Prodes system, which relies on satellite imagery.
After the official disclosure of Prodes’ data on Thursday, Mr Leite told reporters that the data did not reflect commitments the government had made in recent months. He also denied seeing the data before going to Glasgow.
President Bolsonaro, who has long encouraged the development of the Amazon, including mining on indigenous lands, simply did not turn up in Scotland after his participation in the G20 meeting in Rome.
Correspondence from the Ministry of the Environment and the Presidency did not respond to AP requests to know when MM. Light and Bolsonaro were told about the deforestation data and why its release had been delayed.
In Glasgow, Minister Light announced that Brazil is committed to completely eliminating illegal deforestation by 2028, two years later than expected, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 by 50%.
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