Brazil’s President Bolsonaro sued for Amazon forest deforestation
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Brazil’s President Bolsonaro sued for Amazon forest deforestation

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An Austrian NGO has filed a complaint with the International Criminal Court (ICC) against Brazil’s current president Jair Bolsonaro for ‘crimes against humanity’ related to Bolsonaro’s role in the deforestation of the Amazon region and its expected impact on human life and health worldwide.

AllRise, the NGO filing the complaint, says that the Brazilian president’s government is responsible for the deforestation of about 4,000 square kilometres of Amazon rainforest each year, and that the rate of deforestation has increased by 88 percent since Bolsonaro came to power.

The NGO accuses him of “systematically” trying to circumvent or abolish laws and official bodies surrounding the issue.

“All these actions are directly related to the negative consequences of climate change in the world,” the complaint states.

The NGO added that, according to experts, emissions from deforestation under the current Brazilian regime will cause more than 180,000 additional deaths worldwide by the end of this century.

Their complaint is not the first to be filed with the International Criminal Court against the Brazilian president, nor is the deforestation taking place in the Amazon the only environmental issue at play on the South American continent.

Recognition of ecocide as an international crime recently received support in the European Parliament, with proponents calling it “a crucial step for the international movement for the recognition of ecocide.”

In Peru, Oxfam says that Belgium’s involvement in the sourcing of biofuels is leading to egregious human rights violations.

Elsewhere on the continent, they say that European carbon-neutral schemes (which often hang on the promise of planting trees in South American countries) threaten the food security of people who live there, in addition to bringing no substantive change to carbon emitting activities in Europe.

Critics point out that developing countries in the South American region are using their available natural resources in much the same way developed ones already used their own, and that many of the projects with great environmental impacts are driven or even backed by funding from the developed nations that criticise their activities, including many European countries.

Helen Lyons
The Brussels Times

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