Bolsonaro insists: “The Amazon? It doesn’t burn because it’s damp”

The Brazilian president: “The accusations against us are unfair”

The Amazon? It does not burn “because it is wet”. Absent from COP26, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro thus defends himself from those who accuse his country of not defending the great rainforest. “A trip to the Amazon is a fantastic experience, also to see that the Amazon does not burn because it is humid,” the accusations are “unfair,” Bolsonaro said during a meeting with investors in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. The Brazilian news portal G1 writes it.

Bolsonaro had already made a similar statement last year at the United Nations. Now he repeats them after the Cop26 in Glasgow has once again put deforestation and fires in the Amazon in the spotlight. But experts also dispute the fact that the Amazon is so humid. “Claiming that the forest is humid as a whole was true 60 or 70 years ago. Today with 20% deforestation is no longer a fact”, explains Antonio Oviedo, of the Socio-Environmental Institute (Isa), an NGO active in Amazonia for 25 years. “Deforestation, logging and other human activities have changed the condition of the tropical forest as a barrier against fire,” adds Ane Alencar, scientific director of the Institute of Environmental Investigations of the Amazon (Ipam).

Bolsonaro’s statements come as the deforestation of the ‘lung of the world’ becomes increasingly dramatic under his presidency. According to IPAM data, 877 km2 of forest were destroyed in October, 5% more than in the same month in 2020, a record never reached previously.