Amazon Watch Statement on President Bolsonaro's Brazil Fires Address

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In the face of international outcry over the human-caused forest fires raging through the Amazon rainforest, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro addressed Brazil this evening.

Amazon Watch Program Director Christian Poirier made the following statement in response to Bolsonaro's address:

"Tonight President Bolsonaro claimed that 'protecting the rainforest is our duty' and professed 'profound love and respect for the Amazon,' yet his environmentally toxic policies and rhetoric since taking power tell a very different story. Claiming that he will have 'zero tolerance' for environmental crime is another dubious contention, as his regime has permitted lawlessness and impunity to flourish in the Amazon, giving rise to today's catastrophic fires.

"Bolsonaro’s scripted statement appears tailored to appease his critics and dodge the consequences of his irresponsibility; however, it will take much more to rebuild his government’s credibility. The world should not be fooled while Bolsonaro takes no action to address the root causes of this crisis, and must maintain scrutiny and pressure upon his government to adequately and effectively protect the Amazon and its peoples."

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