Romania, which is home to some of Europe’s last remaining virgin forests and diverse wildlife, is losing an estimated three to nine hectares of forest per hour due to illegal logging, Greenpeace studies have shown.
Suely Araujo, the head of Brazil’s environmental protection agency the Brazilian Institute of Environment and Renewable Natural Resources (Ibama) resigned Monday after far-right President Jair Bolsonaro criticized the amount of money it spends to rent vehicles, his latest attack on the agency.
The letter also condemned plans to combine the environment and agriculture ministry, as suggested by Bolsonaro’s top agriculture adviser last week.
“The subordination of these functions to agriculture, in addition to demonstrating a lack of knowledge of the subject, would generate insurmountable conflicts of interest and jeopardize four decades of progress in protecting the environment,” the letter said.
The study released this week pointed to two United States-based agribusinesses, Cargill and Bunge, along with several European companies, as the critical drivers for the extensive destruction. These companies according to the report stood out for their role in the widespread damage caused to Latin American forest areas for soy in the Brazilian Cerrado and Bolivian Amazon Basin in a previous investigation.