Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, under international pressure to curb the fires now spiking across the Amazon, is trying to crack down on the farmers and loggers who clear land by burning the rainforest.
Farmers in Brazil use fire to clear land. But now Bolsonaro is trying to apply the brakes declaring a 60-day ban. Leaders in the Amazon of state Para allegedly organised fires along a highway across the rainforest to show support for Bolsonaro’s loosening of environmental restrictions.
More experienced farmers stopped using fire to clear land decades ago because it can be so difficult to manage, he said, but Brazil has long provided incentives for farmers to move into, burn and develop the Amazon. Governors of the Amazon states have warned that land ownership laws must be rewritten before they can clamp down on deforestation as there are question marks about who actually owns the land.
President Bolsonaro is under pressure from the agricultural lobby that helped get him elected to ease tensions with the international community before boycotts impact their profits. He says farmers and loggers will no longer be allowed to use fires to clear land.
Follow the Daily Report for more. Weeknights at 7 PM on Country TV. Available on demand.