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Wellington demo “Save the Amazon Forest/Salve a Amazônia!”

Press Release 21 August 2019

Wellington demo “Save the Amazon Forest/Salve a Amazônia!”

What: Wellington demo “Save the Amazon Forest/Salve a Amazônia!”
When: Friday, 6 September 2019 from 12:30-13:30
Where: Embassy of Brazil in Wellingtona

Last week Brazil’s president Jair Bolsonaro fired the director of the Brazilian space agency INPE, which monitors deforestation in the Amazon. The agency recently revealed the extent to which deforestation has increased since Bolsonaro took power in January. More than 3700 square kilometres of forest have been cut down so far this year, according to INPE. In July 2019 2.254,9 km2 of forest were cut down, compared to the same period as last year, the increase on deforestation is 278%.

Brazil still has laws meant to reduce deforestation but they are not being enforced. The number of enforcement operations in the Amazon region has fallen 70 per cent this year, according environmentalist Carlos Rittl of the Climate Observatory. The president himself has made verbal remarks encouraging the burning and felling of forests.

Furthermore, Jair Bolsonaro is declining to implement indigenous demarcation lands and his attitude is encouraging violence against indigenous minorities and tension between natives, miners and loggers are escalating.

The appointment of cabinets such as the Environment Ministry to biased parties is compromising the integrity of the system in the name of agro-businesses.

On 22 June 2019, 262 new agrochemicals have been approved by the Brazilian Government. At the same time, the standard of how aggressive those are has been lowered, ie: a “merely” blinding effect from a certain pesticide is no longer enough to qualify it as dangerous. Only death upon ingestion is. Brasil approved 1/3 more pesticides than European nations.

In Brasil, between December 2018 and July 2019, over 500 million bees have died. Bees are the sentinels from ecosystems. They are the first flag that the biodiversity is at risk. We can estimate how many bees are being affected, but we can’t know for sure about the number of butterflies, birds etc that are perishing from the use of agrochemicals. Furthermore, a world without been will have no pollination and the consequences are unthinkable.

Recently Germany and Norway withdrew hundreds of millions of dollars support to Fundo Amazônia. This has serious impacts because Fundo Amazonia sponsors initiatives and NGOs that support the sustainable development of the Amazon, involving local communities, protecting endangered species and protecting the area against deforestation.

The Amazon Forest is close to tipping point and we are in the verge of climate calamity.

This issue is no longer one issue pertinent solely to Brazilian citizens. We must all act before it is too late.

We believe good people can bring the change we want to see in the world. We believe in holding politicians accountable for their actions. On Friday, September 6th 2019, we will hold a peaceful protest outside the Brazilian Embassy in Wellington to draw attention to this situation and we will hand in a document addressed to President Jair Bolsonaro expressing out views and our disgust at the current way Brazilian government is protecting our forest and its people.

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