Brazil’s ‘tropical Trump’ has been ousted, but is it too late to save the Amazon rainforest?

2 November 2022

Written by Isabelle Lane. First published in SBS News. Republished with permission.

Climate change activists are calling on president-elect Luiz Inácio Lula Da Silva to take swift action to save the Amazon rainforest. Brazil's Observatório do Clima - a coalition of civil society groups dedicated to climate action - released a statement expressing relief at the far-right leader's defeat. Human Rights Watch (HRW) has accused Brazil's new President, Jair Bolsonaro, of having "sabotaged environmental law enforcement agencies" and falsely accused civil society groups of environmental crimes. These policies have contributed to soaring deforestation rates in the Brazilian Amazon, HRW said. Following his election victory on Sunday night, Mr da Silva promised to restore Brazil's reputation for conservation.

Deforestation of the Amazon declined under Mr da Silva's previous terms as Brazilian president but rose again when Mr Bolsonaro took office in 2019. The Brazilian presidents between 2011 and 2018 were Dilma Rousseff and Michel Temer respectively. Image from source. 

A deforested and burning area of the Amazon rainforest in the region of Labrea, Brazil, in early September. Image from source. 

The rainforest burns at Apui, southern Amazonas State, Brazil, on 21 September 21.​​​​​​​ Image from source. 

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