The Intitute’s Deputy Director, Prof. Dr. Imme Scholz, moderated a panel discussion on environmental degradation in Brazil, together with Julia Ziesche of the Heinrich Böll Foundation. The event on 12 January 2021 was part of the “Berlin Brazil Dialogues” series, organised in German and Portuguese by several foundations and the Latin America Institute of Freie Universität Berlin.
Maureen Santos (FASE) gave an overview of the decline of environmental law and policy under president Jair Bolsonaro and how the powerful agricultural lobby and mining benefits from this. Lawyer and Congress member Joenia Wapichana reported about resistance in Congress and the importance of being able to represent Brazil’s indigenous peoples directly in parliament. Journalist Eliane Brum (El Pais Brasil) made a strong statement on the neglect of the COVID-19 pandemic by president Bolsonaro which poses an existential risk for indigenous peoples due to the high mortality rate. Thomas Fatheuer (KOBRA) stated that German development cooperation has more options to protect the Amazon than it is actually using. In the Q&A session, possibilities to support indigenous and local communities in the Amazon from Germany were discussed, as was the EU-Mercosur trade deal. The debate made one thing clear above all: Jair Bolsonaro’s populist policies are endangering Brazil’s indigenous people in humanitarian and environmental respects. The event series goes on. More information can be found online here: Berliner Brasiliendialoge – Brasilien im multiplen Krisenmodus – Mecila.