Bolsonaro to talk environment in UN address

The president will say the fires in the Amazon are below the average

Published in 20/09/2019 - 12:23 By Pedro Rafael Vilela - Brasília

In his address at the United Nations (UN) General Assembly, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro will advocate the government’s environmental policy.

In his weekly live broadcast on Facebook on Thursday (Sep 19), Bolsonaro argued that the fires in the Amazon are below the average of the last 15 years and that there has been an international attempt to denigrate Brazil’s reputation overseas. The goal, he said, is to harm the country’s agricultural industry—one of the most competitive in the world.

Bolsonaro and his entourage are expected to take off to New York on September 23. On the following day, the president will be the first to speak, as it is traditionally the job of the Brazilian head of state to make the opening address to the yearly assembly.

“I’m preparing for a very objective address, different from that of other presidents before me. No one will fight anyone there, you may rest assured. I’ll be lambasted by the press anyway—this press has always something to complain about—but I’ll talk about how Brazil’s been faring in this connection. They do have accurate numbers about all that, but they’d rather erode Brazil’s image. Why? Because they’re trying to wreak havoc here, to benefit those overseas. If our agriculture collapses, it’s good for the other countries whose livelihood depends on it,” he declared.

In his view, there has been an attempt by other countries to press Brazil to increase the number of indigenous, quilombola, and environmental reserves. A total of 400 indigenous reserves and 900 quilombola areas had been slated to be demarcated in the coming years, Bolsonaro said, which would expand today’s protected areas by another six percent of the territory.

“Imagine our Brazil with an area of slightly less than the Southeast, the South, demarcated as indigenous? This could make everything unfeasible. This is the trend, to choke our agriculture here in Brazil. We occupy approximately seven percent of our territory for agriculture. Other countries, in Europe, occupy some 70 percent,” the president noted.

The president is expected to continue his duties from the Alvorada residence, where he has been going for walks and having physical therapy sessions to recover from the fourth surgery in a year, to treat the injury following a knife attack he suffered in September last year, during a campaign rally.

Translation: Fabrício Ferreira -  Edition: Fábio Massalli / Nira Foster

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