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Amazonian deforestation drags down Brazilian economy

The Amazon rainforest is in bad shape. Deforestation is growing and the recent wave of fires accelerated the pace of deforestation for the largest forest in the world. The destruction of such a key natural resource for the Brazilian economy has deepened the economic and political crisis that the Latin American country has been immersed in for a while.

These fires have also exposed the poor crisis management skills of the current Brazilian government. Brazilian President, Jair Bolsonaro, has been blamed because of his new policies that are alleged to generate rapid profits by exploiting the forest with a complete disregard for safety and environmental consequences. Additionally, his reaction to this crisis has focused on discrediting the sources reporting the fires rather than tackling the fires and preventing them from happening again.

His moves which have been fiercely criticized in the international press, has made other countries wary of doing business with the fifth largest country in the world. In fact, the tension between these trading partners and Brazil escalated to the point that some trading partners like France and Finland have called on a boycott for certain Brazilian goods.

European Union member states are planning to use the recently-agreed Mercosur-EU trade deal to come up with new environmental certifications compulsory for South American countries to enter the euro market. Consequently, Brazilian forestry products would need to prove a certain level of sustainability to be sold in the EU. However, that apply to other products not made from paper and wood, as well as truly working to reduce the carbon footprint to be less reliant on the Amazon to regulate the water cycle and the quality of the air.