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Brazil Deploys An Army To Protect The Amazon Forest During The Dry Season

On May 11, Brazil deployed thousands of troops to protect the Amazon rainforest, a move in a series of government measures to protect the world's largest rainforest.

The destruction of the Amazon forest rose to an 11-year high last year, sparking outrage and global concern that Brazil is not doing enough to protect the world's largest rainforest.

In a recent press conference, Brazilian Vice President Hamilton Mourão said armed forces, along with environmental officials, police and other government agencies, began to operate in a forest. states in Rondonia state, near the Bolivian border.

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro deployed the forest protection army three months earlier than in 2019, when Amazon fires caught global press headlines.

Brazilian Defense Minister Fernando Azevedo said the armed forces were setting up bases in three Amazon cities, with 3,800 soldiers mobilized to combat illegal forest clearing, illegal mining, and Other environmental crimes, with an initial operating cost of 60 million real ($ 10 million).

Azevedo said each base was also assigned five experts on chemical warfare to help avoid spreading the new strain of corona virus.

The military is currently authorized to deploy protection work for 30 days, ending on June 10. The deadline could be extended according to the course of the dry season, when wildfires spread widely, Vice President Mourão said.

"We have no doubt that the risk of [wildfires] will continue to exist," 
he said.

 “We cannot consider this to be the best job for the armed forces, which must always be on the lookout for [illegal] actions, but unfortunately, that is how we must do to limit the crimes. This evil happens ”.

According to Mourão, armed forces will continue to be used until environmental protection agencies, such as IBAMA, the main enforcement agency, increase their staff. A recession and limited budget prevented IBAMA from hiring new managers, thinning their forces.

Brazilian Environment Minister Ricardo Salles said he believed government actions under the direction of Vice President Mourão would succeed in reducing deforestation.

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