In the midst of the election campaign, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro on Tuesday held up his country as an example for environmental protection and sustainable development, painting a bright picture of the Brazilian economy in his opening speech to the 77th General Assembly today. United Nations.
“Brazil is part of the solution and a benchmark for the world,” Bolsonaro said at the United Nations headquarters in New York. “Two-thirds of the Brazilian territory is still covered with native vegetation, the same as it was when Brazil was discovered in 1500.”
“In the Brazilian Amazon region,” he added, “more than 80% of the forests have not been touched, contrary to what the mainstream national and international media say.”
However, his government has been heavily criticized for promoting deforestation in favor of development. Deforestation is the highest in 15 years, leading to more wildfires in August than any other month in the last five years, according to the space agency.
The president confirmed that Brazil has an “economy in full recovery, with high employment and low inflation.” Poverty has increased worldwide due to the effects of the (coronavirus) pandemic, (but) in Brazil it started to decrease. He said that under his administration, poverty had been reduced by “more than 20%”.
It is not a vision shared by all. Recent studies indicate that food insecurity is on the rise, now above the global average, according to the Getulio Vargas Foundation, a university and think tank.
Bolsonaro is in a close race with leftist former president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva ahead of the October 2 presidential election. In his only indication of the consultation, he said that “we are ending systemic corruption” in Brazil and that when the left was in power before he came to government, from 2003 to 2015, “the level of national oil debt. The company Petrobras reached 170,000 million dollars for mismanagement, political appointments, favors and distribution of funds.
“Whoever was responsible for all this was convicted,” he added, referring to Lula, who was found guilty of money laundering and corruption. He did not explain that this judgment was invalidated by the Supreme Court.
Diane Jeanter contributed from Rio de Janeiro.