The government of the president Jair Bolsonaro created on Monday a specific secretariat to take care of the affairs of the Brazilian Amazon, amid growing international pressure for its questioned environmental policy.
The Ministry of the Environment formalized the launch of the Secretariat of the Amazon and Environmental Services, which will be responsible for coordinating policies for the control and prevention of illegal deforestation and fires, among other matters.
The creation of the Secretariat of the Amazon, based in Manaus, capital of the state of Amazonas (north), had already been announced last August by the Brazilian Government in response to the increase in national and international criticism, due to the growing destruction of the largest rainforest of the planet.
The fires in the Amazon they were slightly reduced compared to last year – and this year they have been more serious in the Pantanal – but their number is still high and they justify the attacks by environmentalists on Bolsonaro, accused of encouraging them for his anti-environmentalist rhetoric and his policies of exploitation of the forest.
The deterioration of the Amazon has increased pressure on the Government and last Friday the Government of France announced that it maintains its rejection of the trade agreement between the European Union (EU) and Mercosur (Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay) by alleging environmental problems.
The office of French Prime Minister Jean Castex said the EU should continue negotiations with Mercosur to guarantee three points: stop deforestation, respect the Paris climate agreements and that products imported from these countries meet European health and environmental standards.
Concern for the Amazon also motivated an unprecedented coalition composed of more than 200 civil society organizations, agribusiness companies and the financial sector, which sent the Bolsonaro government a letter with a series of measures to reduce deforestation.
In parallel, several non-governmental organizations launched a campaign to boycott meat products that the European Union imports from Brazil, considering that the producers promote the deforestation of the Amazon to increase their breeding areas.
The Government, however, insists that the pressure from foreign countries It has economic and commercial interests as a backdrop and seeks to overthrow President Bolsonaro.