Brazilian President Lula da Silva presented his plan to end deforestation in the Amazon by 2030.
Together with Environment Minister Marina Silva, he made the announcement as part of the initiatives taken by the government to combat climate change.
“Due mainly to the Amazon rainforest, Brazil is largely responsible for the global climate balance,” said the President. “Therefore, stopping deforestation in the Amazon is also a way to reduce the increase in global temperature. I am aware of the challenge of ending deforestation by 2030, but this is a challenge we are determined to meet.
The Brazilian government pledges to create three million hectares of new nature reserves and to confiscate land from landowners who deforest. To achieve this, the government now has a specific plan against deforestation in the Amazon, symbolically presented on World Environment Day.
Lula da Silva’s announcement came at the same time as the families and friends of Brazilian indigenist Bruno Pereira and British journalist Dom Phillips were commemorating the anniversary of their deaths. Pereira and Phillips died in June 2022 when they were shot in a remote area of the Brazilian Amazon, while investigating the threats facing the rainforest and the isolated indigenous tribes that inhabit it. Several suspects in their deaths remain in jail awaiting trial, including the alleged mastermind who is believed to be the leader of an illegal fishing criminal organisation operating in the region.
Dom Phillips’ wife, Alessandra Sampaio, said that “we have received death threats through letters and on the phone. When is this going to end? When is this going to end? The death of Dom and Bruno was not enough? [We are at a point where we can no longer ignore the violence that stalks the Amazon. It is extremely important that we are more vigilant”.
The plan presented aims to reach zero deforestation within seven years and to this end outlines 194 lines of action. Among other measures, it includes the creation of three million hectares of new nature reserves and the protection of 230,000 kilometres of riverbanks. The government also wants to seize 50 per cent of illegally deforested land, increase the number of strategic bases, police stations and aircraft of the Federal Police and the Armed Forces in the Amazon, create daily deforestation alerts and hire 1,600 environmental analysts by 2027.
The programme is not only about cracking down on environmental crimes, it also seeks to offer an economic alternative to the millions of Brazilians who live in the Amazon by boosting the bioeconomy, sustainable tourism and family farming.