Left Menu
Development News Edition

Soaring Amazon deforestation splits Brazil's agriculture lobby

Brazil's biggest lobby group for soy farmers Aprosoja has broken ties with the Brazil Agribusiness Association (Abag) over its support for an initiative calling on the Brazilian government to rein in soaring deforestation in the Amazon rainforest. Abag was among roughly 230 nongovernment organizations, companies and associations that called on the government of right-wing President Jair Bolsonaro earlier this month to take measures to combat rising deforestation.

Reuters | Updated: 29-09-2020 05:36 IST | Created: 29-09-2020 05:36 IST
Soaring Amazon deforestation splits Brazil's agriculture lobby

Brazil's biggest lobby group for soy farmers Aprosoja has broken ties with the Brazil Agribusiness Association (Abag) over its support for an initiative calling on the Brazilian government to rein in soaring deforestation in the Amazon rainforest.

Abag was among roughly 230 nongovernment organizations, companies and associations that called on the government of right-wing President Jair Bolsonaro earlier this month to take measures to combat rising deforestation. Aprosoja's departure from the association highlights just how divisive the issue of environmental protection is for Brazil's farming sector, which overwhelmingly backed right-wing President Jair Bolsonaro in the 2018 election.

Environmental concerns in Europe over importing Brazilian products linked to deforestation have threatened to derail ratification of a free trade deal between the European Union and South American trade bloc Mercosur. That would deal a blow to Brazilian farmers who stand to benefit from increased exports. Many of the biggest farmers and commodities trading companies say marginal producers, who do not represent the industry's mainstream, are driving illegal deforestation.

Some farmers, as well as Bolsonaro, blame Brazil's negative environmental image on a smear campaign by non-governmental organizations. Environmental advocates say Bolsonaro's policies that weaken environmental enforcement embolden illegal farmers, ranchers and miners to clear the forest. Aprosoja President Bartolomeu Braz Pereira told Reuters that Abag was playing politics by siding with non-government organizations.

"Our voice wasn't heard any more," Pereira said. "NGOs have no interest whatsoever in preserving the environment," Pereira said. By allying with NGOs, Abag was complicit in "denigrating the image of rural producers."

Abag's press office said it would not comment on any member organizations leaving the association, but that it was not cause for concern. Deforestation in Brazil's Amazon rose 34.5% in the 12-months through July, Brazil's official period for measuring deforestation, according to preliminary statistics from government space research agency Inpe.


TRENDING

OPINION / BLOG / INTERVIEW

Kenya’s COVID-19 response: Chaos amid lack of information

Confusing numbers and scanty information on how effective curfews and lockdowns have been in breaking transmission have amplified coordination and planning challenges in Kenyas response to COVID-19. Without accurate data, it is impossible t...

Farkhad Akhmedov: Calculating the price of impunity from the law

In insistences such as the battle over the Luna, Akhmedov has resorted to extreme legal machinations to subvert the High Courts decision and keep his assets from being seized. ...

Guinea’s elections hearken back to the autocracy and violence of its past

... ...

Pandemic-era FinCEN leaks ratchet up the urgency of lifting the veil on financial secrecy

As the coronavirus pandemic reverses decades of gains in combatting inequality, its more urgent than ever that authorities excise the dirty money that has metastasized within the financial systems guts....

Videos

Latest News

Soccer-Morocco’s Renaissance Berkane reach African Confederation Cup final

Two penalties from Mohamed Aziz spurred Renaissance Berkane to a 2-1 win over Moroccan compatriots Hassania Agadir in the African Confederation Cup semi-final on Monday. Berkane reached the final for a second successive year after losing th...

U.S. House Speaker Pelosi, Mnuchin narrow differences on aid bill, Pelosi spokesman says

U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin continued to narrow their differences in a 53-minute telephone conversation on Monday about a fresh coronavirus aid package, Pelosis spokesman, Drew Ham...

Science News Roundup: Nokia to build mobile network on the moon and Flu shot may offer some protection

Following is a summary of current science news briefs.Got any signal up here Nokia to build mobile network on the moonStruggling to get a phone signal at home on planet Earth Perhaps youll have better luck on the moon. Nokia has been select...

People News Roundup: Ghislaine Maxwell cannot keep deposition details secret, U.S. appeals court rules

Following is a summary of current people news briefs.Ghislaine Maxwell cannot keep deposition details secret, U.S. appeals court rulesA U.S. appeals court on Monday dealt Ghislaine Maxwell a blow by refusing to block the release of a deposi...

Give Feedback