Brazilian authorities must investigate and prosecute those responsible for starting illegal fires in the Amazon to prevent further destruction of the rainforest, Amnesty International said today as it launched an online campaign to pressure President Jair Bolsonaro and his government to step up protection of Indigenous territories and environmental reserves.
“The devastating fires in the Amazon are the symptom of a larger crisis of illegal deforestation and land seizures. On paper Brazil has strong laws to protect Indigenous territories and environmental reserves. Yet President Bolsonaro has actively undermined those protections, resulting in the devastation we see today,” said Kumi Naidoo, Secretary General of Amnesty International.
“While the President has now signed a decree temporarily banning fires for land clearance, this does not eliminate the potential for further fires because he has taken little action to deter or prevent the illegal deforestation and land seizures that drive them.