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Tue Feb 5, 2019, 03:43 AM

New appointments, new policies don't bode well for Brazilian Amazon

by Jenny Gonzales on 4 February 2019

  • Jair Bolsonaro took office on 1 January. Since then, he has made appointments to his government, and there have been statements by people in his administration, that are causing grave concern among environmentalists.

  • New Environment Minister Ricardo Salles has come out strongly for an end to the demarcation of indigenous lands, and in support of entrepreneurs and companies being allowed to self-regulate the environmental licensing process for major infrastructure and development projects.

  • Salles also wants to hire a satellite firm to monitor Brazilís forest fires, drought and deforestation. Brazilís National Space Research Institute (INPE), a governmental agency, released a response explaining that it is already doing this work. While Salles plan isnít clear, it could be a means of privatizing deforestation monitoring.

  • Franklimberg Ribeiro de Freitas has been chosen to head Funai, Brazilís indigenous affairs agency. However, some fear a major conflict of interest. Freitas was most recently a consulting advisor for indigenous, community, and environmental affairs with the Belo Sun mining company, where he sided against indigenous land rights.

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