Fire outbreaks throughout Brazil have increased by 82% since the beginning of this year, to a total record of 71,497, according to the National Institute of Space Research (INPE), of which 54% occurred in the Amazon. Faced with the scandalous situation, Bolsonaro said his "feeling" is that "NGOs are behind" the spread of fire to "send messages abroad".
The increase in burning is not an isolated fact. In his short period of rule, deforestation, invasion of parks and indigenous lands, illegal and predatory exploitation of natural resources and the and the assassination of traditional, indigenous and environmentalist community leaders have also grown.
At the same time, Bolsonaro dismantled and demoralized environmental supervision, gave numerous statements of encouragement to the predatory occupation of the Amazon and criminalization of those who defend its conservation.
The increase in deforestation and burning also represents an increase in Brazilian greenhouse gas emissions, distancing the country from meeting the Paris Agreement targets. While the government justifies easing environmental policies as necessary for economic improvement, the reality is that as emissions explode, GDP rise approaches zero.
The President must act responsibly and prove what he says, instead of making reckless and inconsequential conclusions, repeating the attempt to criminalize organizations, manipulating public opinion against the work done by civil society.
Bolsonaro doesn’t need NGOs to burn Brazil's image worldwide.