“Europe can help us save the Amazon”

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Tribune. “Our house is on fire”, reacted President Emmanuel Macron in August 2019, while forest fires were raging in the Brazilian Amazon. ” In these conditions “, he warned, France would not support the trade agreement being negotiated between the European Union (EU) and Mercosur [alliance commerciale entre le Brésil, l’Argentine, le Paraguay et l’Uruguay], which includes commitments to fight deforestation.

The fires are expected to resume soon, and possibly even worse than in 2019

The situation in the Amazon has only worsened, especially for our indigenous communities, on the front lines of rainforest defense efforts. The fires are expected to resume soon, and possibly even worse than in 2019, even as we are still reeling from the Covid-19 pandemic, which is ravaging communities across the world. ‘Amazonia and all of Brazil.

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Now, more than ever, we need European leaders to speak out on strong commitments to the environment – as Emmanuel Macron did on June 29 when he reiterated his doubts about the deal EU-Mercosur. But, if they want to have a real impact, they should spell out more clearly what exactly Brazil needs to do to dispel doubts about the country’s commitments to tackle global warming.

Strong resumption of deforestation in Brazil

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has angrily rejected criticism of Macron and other European leaders, which he sees as insults to Brazilian sovereignty. But Bolsonaro does not speak for the many Brazilians, of indigenous and non-indigenous descent, who have fought for years to preserve our forest.

Between 2004 and 2012, we managed to achieve an 80% decrease in deforestation

There was a time when Brazil was a world leader in forest preservation. Between 2004 and 2012, we managed to achieve an 80% reduction in deforestation. But after 2012, with budget cuts and indigent policies that weakened environmental protection authorities, deforestation picked up again.

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This upsurge is the result of violent criminal networks against which Bolsonaro’s government has done absolutely nothing to protect us. In 2019, a Human Rights Watch report documented how these local mafias threaten, attack, and kill environmental protection officers, members of indigenous communities, and others living in the rainforest who get in the way. out of their way. Murderers are rarely brought to justice.

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