News / News

Who is favored by Bolsonaro’s responses to the fires?

06/02/2020 By Friends of the Earth Brasil

We can say from the start: only the market, land grabbers, agribusiness. And the PL 2633 (PL stands for Project of Law) – the notorious PL of Land Grabbing – is the greatest evidence of it. And well… Ricardo Salles, the minister for the Environment, also made it quite clear by saying that the coronavirus pandemic is a great opportunity to dismantle environmental regulation because everyone is looking elsewhere.

Due to the urgency and the growing concern of the international community in regard to the 2019 fires, Bolsonaro administration reacted with solutions aimed at market interests, which in no way cover the problems faced by the peoples of the Amazon. On the contrary, they put them at risk by favoring policies that benefit big companies and land grabbers and also by strengthening measures of nature financialization.

In the National Congress, projects that strengthen measures such as the PSA (Payment for Environmental Services, in English) have advanced, showing that the “solutions” pointed out by the Brazilian government is based on nature only by turning it into shares on the stock exchange market and money for companies – disregarding peoples who live and work on the land.

At the same time the government took the opportunity to move forward in the proposal of amnesty for land grabbers, expressed in PL 2633 – encouraging exactly the practice that is behind the increase in fires last year. Even in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, PL 2633 can be voted at any time in Congress. If approved, it will further facilitate the action of invaders of public lands. For the Carta de Belém Group, “[…] the legislation allows liquidation of land and public assets at a bargain price in favor of medium and large land grabbers” – remembering that, meanwhile, “agrarian reform and the titling of collective territories remain paralyzed”. Those would be true solutions, but Bolsonaro thinks otherwise.

This is part 2 of the introduction to the story “What really happens in the Amazon Forest”. Browse content:

Part 1 (central page): What really happens in the Amazon Forest
Part 2: Who is favored by Bolsonaro’s responses to the fires?
Part 3: The “win-win” of companies with the financialization of nature
Part 4: But after all, who is behind these crimes?


And also see: The siege explained on a map

In short, payment measures for environmental services are a way to monetize the relationship with nature; depending on financial flows, it may be interesting to preserve it, or maybe not. Such measures do not address the structural issues of the climate problem and do not protect the peoples and their territories: on the contrary, they leave them at the mercy of the large polluting industries, which invade the Amazon to “compensate” for their violations of rights elsewhere and for the pollution inherent to their activities.

The documentary “Green market: the financialization of nature” explains and denounces the false solutions that capitalism proposes for the evils it causes (in Portuguese).

The land, thus, only serves the mood of the market. Communities lose their autonomy over their own territories, transformed into assets on stock exchanges and “carbon capture farms”. This leads to the criminalization of ancestral practices and cultures.

It is to the Market that Bolsonaro and the Minister of Environment, Ricardo Salles, respond to, in detriment of the agro-socio-bio-diversity of the Amazon. This is as clear as could be: at a meeting with the president and all high members of government, Salles said that the coronavirus pandemic is a proper opportunity to dismantle environmental law – in order to benefit big companies. It is explicit: for them, the Amazon needs “capitalist solutions”: in other words, devastation, exploitation, privatization.

Back to the central page What really happens in the Amazon Forest

Continue reading the introduction:

Part 3: The “win-win” of companies with the financialization of nature
Part 4: But after all, who is behind these crimes?

Actions: Land Conflicts, Business and Human Rights Violations, Megaproject Impacts
Axes: Earth, territory and space justice