Illegal mining, deforestation and stream destruction within the Yanomami Indigenous Reserve in northern Brazil. The Bolsonaro government has yet to successfully curb this invasion by more than 20,000 illegal miners. Image by Chico Batata / Greenpeace. “The Bolsonaro government has a clear policy for dismantling national environmental policies. It is delegitimizing the federal environmental bodies and its employees, sacking competent staff and appointing ill-prepared people to head departments and ‘flexibilizing’ the regulations that form an important part of environmental policies in every country. He is destroying all this,” Suely Araújo told Mongabay. She is a senior specialist in public policies at Observatório do Clima, a network of Brazilian NGOs working on climate change issues. What the dismantling of the country’s environmental agencies and policies looks like in practice has been described in detail in a new report, published 22 January by Observatório do Clima. It maps out how the Bolsonaro government has systematically slashed the budget for environmental monitoring and firefighting — reduced by 9.8% in 2020, then by another 27.4% in 2021. The cuts are so sweeping they make it impossible for the nation’s environmental agencies to carry out their work effectively, according to the report. Critics point out that, if the government was truly committed to environmental protection, these cuts would make no sense at all. Another proof: even as Brazil’s deforestation soars under Bolsonaro (with an increase of 34% in the last two years) federal agencies’ capacity to punish criminals has steeply declined due to chronic funding…This article was originally published on Mongabay Läs mer