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Foreign investors give Bolsonaro ultimatum on Amazon

Christian Fernsby |
A group of 36 Brazilian companies and four business organizations have written to the National Council for the Legal Amazon led by Vice President Hamilton Mourao seeking strong and effective measures against illegal deforestation in the Amazon and other areas.

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The businessmen said their main concern was the negative perception of Brazil’s image abroad due to poor socioenvironmental management.

"This negative view has enormous potential for prejudice to our country, not only from a reputation point of view, but it also hinders business and other fundamental projects," said the letter.

The pressure on President Jair Bolsonaro and his ministers grew when Deter, a program by the National Institute for Space Research (Inpe) that measures almost real time clearing of the Amazon rainforest, showed in June that deforestation had increased compared to the previous year and for the 14th consecutive month, with the highest amount of deforestation since 2016.

The problem persisted, and July was also a record month, with more than 2,000 square kilometers (1,242 square miles) of deforestation.

Comparing June 2019 with June 2020, the destruction of the rainforest increased by almost 10%, reaching the largest area destroyed since devastation began to be officially monitored and controlled in 2015.

In June and July, more than 2,500 square kilometers were devastated.

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