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Former Brazilian enviro ministers blast Bolsonaro environmental assaults

23 / 05 / 2019, Mongabaycom News

Where rainforest once stood, a few trees overlook a Brazilian agribusiness plantation. Bolsonaro’s new policies are a direct threat to the Amazon rainforest, say former environmental ministers. Photo by Mayangdi Inzaulgarat Eight former Brazilian environment ministers launched a manifesto in São Paulo on 8 May in which they fiercely criticized President Jair Bolsonaro’s environmental policies. In an unusual move, they condemned the administration for “a series of unprecedented actions that are destroying the capacity of the environment ministry to formulate and carry out public policies” and accused the government of “compromising the country’s international image and credibility.” Among the measures they most strongly attacked is the decision to transfer the National Water Agency to the Ministry of Regional Development; the transfer of the Brazilian Forest Service to the Agriculture Ministry; the abolition of the Secretariat for Climate Change; the appointment of administrators with little or no environmental experience to key positions; and the weakening of environmental licencing under the pretext of achieving greater efficiency. “We never thought that we would witness such an evil effort to destroy what Brazil has built over such a long period,” said Rubens Ricupero, environment minister from 1993-1994 under President Itamar Franco. “The government is adopting policies that deny climate change,” warned José Sarney Filho, environment minister during the governments of Fernando Henrique Cardoso and Michel Temer. “It seems that we will need a huge catastrophe, a tragedy, for them to realize what is happening.” “The country with the world’s greatest biodiversity is beginning to…

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