Protesters in Jerusalem call for more protection to the Amazonian rain forest .
(photo credit: GREENPEACE)
Greenpeace activists posted a protest sign on the walls of the Old City in Jerusalem, calling on Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro – who is in Israel on a four-day official visit – to “stop the destruction of the Amazon forest.”
Activists and volunteers of the environmental NGO climbed the walls of the Old City and placed the sign in the sight of Bolsonaro’s room at the King David Hotel.
“The Amazon question touches all of us; it’s the world’s responsibility,” Greenpeace campaign manager Yonatan Aikhenbaum told The Jerusalem Post
. “We are talking about the biggest rainforest in the world – and the role it plays in climatic change is tremendous.”
The Amazon rainforest represents more than half of the world’s remaining rainforests, with 60% of its territory located within Brazil. Being the most bio-diverse tropical forest, it contains the largest collection of plant and animal species in the world.
During his presidential campaign, Bolsonaro outraged environmentalists in Brazil and around the world when he announced his intention to retract Brazil from the Paris Agreement. He then backtracked earlier this year during the World Economic Forum in Davos.
Bolsonaro’s opposition claims that he will let the agribusiness lobby dictate Brazil’s environmental policies. On the other hand, Bolsonaro claimed that he plans to put an end to the “Shi’ite” environmental activism that controls Brazilian environmental bodies, such as the Chico Mendes Institute for Biodiversity Conservation, the Environmental Ministry’s administrative arm. His environmental policy, however, is still uncertain.
A new “development paradigm – away from only attempting to reconcile maximizing conservation versus intensification of traditional agriculture and expansion of hydro power capacity,” is needed in Brazil’s approach to the Amazon issue, claimed a study published in the US Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences by leading environmental researchers Carlos A. Nobre and his team.
Adopting a doctrine of “economic development first,” Bolsonaro has claimed during his presidential campaign that he will not let environmental “restrictions” prevent Brazil’s growth. “Bolsonaro’s speech reminds [us] of the prevailing doctrine during the military dictatorship,” Brazilian researcher Emilio La Rovere told the Brazilian magazine Exame
Bolsonaro landed in Israel on Sunday, intending to strengthen ties with Jerusalem. The announcement to relocate Brazil’s embassy to Jerusalem was highly expected, but Bolsonaro instead announced the opening of a trade mission, delaying the embassy plans.
“One way we can contribute, as Israelis, is adding force to the international pressure to lead Brazil’s government to take protective actions,” Aikhenbaum told the Post
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