Jair Bolsonaro’s presidency will likely represent a radical shift in Brazil’s environmental policies. Since Fernando Collor de Mello, the first elected president since the end of the dictatorship, the country has been trying (with mixed results) to become a world leader in preservation. Much of this prominence is due to the Amazon, the largest and most important rainforest in the world and an ecosystem that influences the climate of the entire planet.
Brazil managed to decrease levels of deforestation and approved legislation that has been recognized worldwide. One of the branches of the government’s action in the Amazon is the demarcation of indigenous reservations. They not only fulfill what the Constitution demands—that is, the recognition of native Brazilians’ rights to maintain their culture and way of life—but also provide safe spaces where loggers, miners, farmers, and cattle ranchers cannot reach (and therefore destroy).