BRASILIA (Reuters) – Brazil’s backsliding on Amazon conservation under right-wing President Jair Bolsonaro and a likely Peronist return to power in Argentina could delay or even derail ratification of an EU-Mercosur trade agreement that took two decades to negotiate.
Deforestation has surged since Bolsonaro’s election last year. His plans to develop the Amazon and moves to weaken rainforest protection have alarmed environmentalists and given ammunition to European opponents of the trade deal with the South American common market.
Environment - Ministers - Jose - Sarney - Filho
Two former Brazilian environment ministers, Jose Sarney Filho and Izabella Teixeira, said Bolsonaro has rapidly undermined Brazil’s hard-won reputation as a responsible food producer and a leader in world environmental forums.
“Nobody imagined he would dismantle Brazil’s command and control mechanisms for protecting the environment so fast and effectively,” Sarney said in a interview.
Bolsonaro - Agencies - Wildcat - Miners - Incentive
He said Bolsonaro has deliberately demoralized environmental agencies and given wildcat miners an incentive to cut down trees and invade indigenous reservations.
Brazil’s presidency did not respond immediately to a request for comment.
Sarney - Risk - EU - Parliaments - Farming
Sarney pointed to a “high risk” that some EU parliaments, particularly in big farming countries such as France, will not ratify the accord concluded last month with Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay.
French President Emmanuel Macron warned in June he would not sign the EU-Mercosur pact if Bolsonaro pulled Brazil out of the Paris climate accord.
Tensions - France - Change - Policy - Environment
Amid deepening tensions with France over climate change policy and the environment, Bolsonaro suddenly canceled a July 29 meeting with French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian – and went for a haircut instead.
Germany and Norway have suspended donations to a $1.2 billion fund to back sustainable projects in the Amazon after the government shut down the steering committee that selects projects and planned to use it to compensate farmers who had land expropriated in protected areas.
Bolsonaro - Nationalist - Interference - Amazon
Bolsonaro, a nationalist who has attacked foreign interference in the Amazon, retorted...
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