Environmentalists’ uproar as Brazil launches official deforestation monitoring | News from the world


The Brazilian government fired an agent for the national space agency Inpe, whose department is responsible for satellite monitoring of the Amazon rain forest, just three days after deforestation in June, the data reflected a continued increase in degradation.Lubia Vinhas was the general coordinator of the Brazilian Space Agency Inpe’s Earth Observation Institute, which is an umbrella for the divisions that monitor the Amazon and panels to discuss climate change with civil society organizations.

Vinhas was chosen in 2018 for a four-year term, but Marcos Pontes, Brazilian Minister of Science and Technology, decided to fire her after two years and three months of work. He did not explain why.

The timing of the layoff – following June data – sparked uproar from environmentalists who saw a parallel with another high-profile shot at the same agency last year.

Jair Bolsonaro, president of Brazil, is a critic of environmentalists and defends the promotion of increased economic development in the Amazon, which many opponents see as a nod to illegal miners and loggers.

In August, amid international protests against forest fires in the Amazon, Bolsonaro accused the director of the Brazilian space research institute, Ricardo Galvão, of manipulating deforestation data by satellite in order to undermine his administration. Galvão publicly rejected the allegations and was terminated.


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