Brazil: Confirmed Merger for Agriculture and the Environment

Brazil: Confirmed Merger for Agriculture and the Environment

It was one of the measures of the candidate Jair Bolsonaro that worried the environmental organizations. The meeting in the same Ministry of Environment and Agriculture. According to Onyx Lorenzoni, the deputy who will be the future head of government of Jair Bolsonaro, this will be the case. The controversial measure was confirmed on Tuesday.

"Agriculture and the Environment will be one and the same, as originally planned," said Onyx Lorenzoni, referring to the fact that Jair Bolsonaro, while still only the far-right candidate for the presidential, had retreated on this controversial issue. The same ministry will deal with "economic and agricultural policy", "natural resources and the rural environment", added the MP. Onyx Lorenzoni made the announcement after Bolsonaro gathered in Rio de Janeiro, two days after his clear victory in the presidential election, his closest advisers to start building his government.

Environmentalist Marina Silva, a former environment minister and presidential candidate, described the merger as a "disaster", saying on Twitter that "a tragic era is opening up, where the protection of the environment is equal to zero ". "Barely launched, the Bolsonaro government represents an incalculable backtracking," she wrote.

A minister from the productive sector

Backed by the powerful agribusiness parliamentary lobby, Bolsonaro is openly more sensitive to the interests of big landowners than to conservationists. "Let it be clear: the future minister will come from the productive sector and we will not have any more fights at this level," he said in the middle of the two rounds. He also caused concern by lambasting the "Shiite controls" – including: radicals – environmental public agencies ICMbio and Ibama, which "harm those who want to produce".

Read also Brazil: the Amazon in the sights of Jair Bolsonaro

Jair Bolsonaro said he was "open to discussion" about the merger of the two ministries, while within his party, the Social Liberal Party (PSL), voices were raised last week to put it warned against an outburst of protest. Even members of the agribusiness had advised him to back down, fearing a negative impact of a merger of ministries for sales of agricultural products, of which Brazil is a major global exporter, under the effect of possible international sanctions. The new administration will officially take office on 1 January in Brasilia.

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