According to the official government gazette, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro ratified a statute on Tuesday to step up fines for environmental crimes in a move to allow more contentious protection of the Amazon rainforest.
Reuters reported earlier in the day that Bolsonaro was anticipated to approve the executive order as quickly as Tuesday.
The decree boosts the probable value of fines for fabricating documents to cover up illegal logging, analyzes heavier outcomes for repeat environmental offenders, and will help lessen the backlog of fines pending collection. The proclamation, which takes into effect instantly, is one of the first concrete steps the Bolsonaro government has made to bolster Amazon protections fulfilling its commitment to end illegal deforestation by 2028 at the COP26 U.N. climate summit in November.
“Fines are very important for stopping deforestation, to scare off illegal deforesters … principally in the Amazon,” said Jose Sarney Filho, former environment minister from 2016 to 2018. “This new step discredited fines as a tool.”
As fines have been left uncollected, deforestation of Brazil’s Amazon rainforest proceeds to hasten.
According to government satellite data, deforestation rose to a 15-year highest in 2021. Preliminary charts show destruction and set a new record for the duration of January to April this year.
The new decree requires those facing penalties to inquire for a “reconciliation” plea learning rather than being automatically awarded one. It’s a move that could lessen the backlog.