Beatrice Crona Comments on Wildfires in the Amazon
During summer of 2019 the Amazon rainforest experienced large swats of wildfires across Brazil, Bolivia, Paraguay, and Peru. In late August 2019, Brazil's National Institute for Space Research reported that there are more than 80,000 fires across all of Brazil, a 77% year-to-year increase for the same tracking period. The intense smoke from the blazes was most evident in Brazil, a country that controls most of the Amazon, and could be seen clearly from space. Winds carried the smoke 1,700 miles away darkening the skies of country's largest city Sao Paolo.
Prominent environmental organizations and researchers said that the wildfires were set by cattle ranchers and loggers who want to clear and utilize the land, emboldened by the country's pro-business president Jair Bolsonaro. President Bolsonaro has started his term in January 2019 with strong anti-environmentalist rhetoric and has railed against protections for indigenous land promising to boost Brazil's economic growth based on the natural resources from the Amazon. He has also weakened the government’s capacity for environmental protection oversight and indicated that he would not go after farmers, loggers and miners who seize and clear the rainforest.
GEDB Executive Director, Beatrice Crona, was invited to provide expert opinion on the topic in several Swedish media outlets. In general, she talked about the important role of the investors and big businesses in the deforestation, wildfires caused by human-induced slash and burn practices being one of the deforestation strategies utilized, of the Amazon rainforest emphasizing its role as one of the Earth System's Tipping Points. On several instances, Beatrice raised the question of what are funds (e.g., Swedish pension funds) doing to ensure that the companies they invest in do not actively participate in the deforestation of the Amazon.
More information about her appearances is available in the web links listed below: