Tens of thousands of environmental fines set to expire in Brazil

Data from protection agencies shows that the government would need ten times more workers to properly enforce environmental controls

environmental fines ibama
Stack of logs extracted from an area of ​​Brazilian Amazon rainforest. Photo: Tarcisio Schnaider/Shutterstock

In his 2020 address to the United Nations General Assembly, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro pledged that his government would take a “zero tolerance” approach to environmental crimes. But that position couldn’t be more at odds with his track record in nearly three and a half years in office. 

During an event in January, Mr. Bolsonaro boasted about having curbed the number of environmental fines by 80 percent since the beginning of his term. “We stopped having big problems with the environmental issue,” he told a crowd of supporters, while gloating over the fact that indigenous land demarcations have been...

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