By Maria Carolina Marcello
BRASILIA (Reuters) – President Jair Bolsonaro admitted this Friday that deforestation and illegal burning is taking place in Brazil, but he questioned the proportion of the data released, a day after the government itself reported record numbers of deforestation in the Amazon.
In the traditional weekly live broadcast through social networks, the president also held the international demand for wood responsible for deforestation.
“There is illegal deforestation, there is. It’s just that other countries don’t buy our wood”, said the president.
“Is there illegal deforestation, is there any illegal burning? There is illegal burning, there is. But that’s not what they say out there. And we fight it. Now, some say, oh, you have to fight more’, do you know the size of the Amazon? How many countries in Europe fit in the Amazon?”, he asked.
Bolsonaro also repeated the thesis according to which the Amazon rainforest would not catch fire and said that criticism of the environmental policy propagated abroad damages the country’s image and the business environment.
On Thursday, the National Institute for Space Research (Inpe) reported that deforestation in the Amazon reached 13,235 square kilometers between August 1, 2020 and July 31, 2021, an increase of 21.97% in the annual comparison with the same period.
The data were collected by the Project for Monitoring Deforestation in the Legal Amazon by Satellite (Prodes) and disclosed in a document on the federal government’s website.
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