Adjustments in 44% of the first circle of the President

Iván Restrepo: Lula’s environmental challenges and promises


before the 2nd of e Last October the first round of the presidential election was held in Brazil, the indigenous leaders of the Amazon warned that, if Jair Bolsonaro wins, it would be the worst thing that could happen to that country and to the most important and necessary treasure to regulate the climate of the planet. And it is that all the projections of the specialists warn that a loss of 20 to 25 percent of the forest cover of the green lung of the Earth would be fatal. Since Bolsonaro came to power in 2019, deforestation rates have increased after years of reduction thanks to the Action Plan for the Prevention and Control of Deforestation and other measures established during the governments of Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva and Dilma Rousseff.

Much of the deforestation is due to fires, most caused intentionally by those who want to plant their interests in the forest. Bolsonaro did nothing to stop them. He does not believe in climate change and considers the Amazon as a source of economic resources that should be exploited for the good of Brazil. That is why his initiatives and his tolerance to establish agricultural, logging and mining activities in it. This expansion has occurred via the invasion of the lands of indigenous communities, who know how to coexist with nature and conserve it. And furthermore, assassinating the leaders who have led the protests against the invasion of the White manwhich with criminal gangs at its service imposes its law.

Added to the foregoing are environmental and control authorities diminished due to lack of funds, non-compliance with the Action Plan to Prevent and Control Deforestation in the Amazon, and changes in the environmental council for that region.

This is what is happening to the 153,000 hectares that have always belonged, and legally since 1998, to the Karipuna people. They are located in the state of Rondônia. But they are among the eight most illegally deforested indigenous territories. It should be noted that the Brazilian Constitution guarantees the integrity of indigenous peoples and their right to land.

Fortunately for Brazil and the planet’s environment, on October 30, Lula da Silva was elected as the new president. During his election campaign he promised to end illegal mining, one of the main causes of deforestation in the Amazon. He also considered that it was not necessary to fell a tree there to plant soybeans or corn, or to raise cattleactivities promoted by Bolsonaro.

Other measures that Lula da Silva will promote to protect the jungle are: 1) retrieve all the institutions or instruments that were established to combat deforestation and that were disassembled by the Bolsonaro government, defender of the exploitation of the natural resources of the Amazon, including in indigenous reserves, where it is prohibited by law; 2) promote the sustainable development of the communities that have lived there for many centuries; 3) to protect this immense forest, it will collaborate with neighboring countries and build international associationsin favor of the great Amazon, although Brazil is sovereign in the part that is in its territory, and 4) that the new ministry of indigenous affairs, headed by an indigenous person, fully function.

To fulfill the previous promises, Lula da Silva will have to improve the application of environmental protection laws, face a hostile Congress, where the agribusiness sector (akin to Bolsonaro and in favor of relaxing the laws in favor of the environment), represents almost half of the bench. Negotiate with six of the nine governors of the Amazon with close ties to the far-right president. In addition, rebuild the agency for the protection of the environment and that of the indigenous people. Now they are run by people close to agribusiness, which has long pushed for land dispossession to be legalized and opposes the creation of protected areas, such as indigenous territories.

Lula da Silva, president of the largest and most populous country in Latin America, will have to fight against those who hold economic, military, religious and communication power. He will defeat them if, with his policies, he achieves the majority support of Brazilians.

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