Under fire, Brazil’s Environment Minister denies “encouraging” deforestation

Ricardo Salles, Brazil's embattled Environment Minister, speaks to The Brazilian Report

Under fire, Brazil's Environment Minister denies "encouraging" deforestation
Amazon area being deforested in Mato Grosso. Photo: Mayke Toscano/Secom-MT

During April, with all of Brazilian states imposing varying degrees of social isolation measures to combat the coronavirus pandemic, deforestation in the Amazon reached its highest level in ten years. Over 30 days, an area equivalent to five times the size of Paris was cut down, a 171-percent increase on April 2019 figures. The culprits are illegal land-grabbers, loggers, wildcat miners, and farmers, who have made use of the Covid-19 quarantines to ramp up their operations in the Amazon rainforest. According to environmentalists, blame for these crimes can be placed at the doorstep of Brazil’s Environment Ministry, led by...

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