The Brazilian Green Party, which has a cabinet minister and seven seats in the Lower House announced Thursday it was abandoning the ruling coalition of President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva disappointed with the government’s environmental policies.
“After 28 months collaborating with the government, the Green Party has decided to abandon its support of President Lula”.
The Green Party is represented in the cabinet as Culture Minister by world famous singer and composer Gilberto Gil.
“There’s a clear retreat in the Brazilian environmental policies”, said the party’s spokesman putting such examples as the authorization to import second hand car and truck tires; the growing deforestation of the Amazon basin and the legal support for genetically modified crops.
Furthermore there’s a “complete lack of policies for the indigenous population,” which was dramatically highlighted last week with the death of 38 under nourished children belonging to the Guarani tribe in one of the country’s Indian reservations.
The Green Party decision also coincides with the release of new record figures on Amazon rainforest destruction. The Brazilian Environment ministry said 26,000 sq km of forest were chopped down in the 12 months prior to August 2004.
The figure is the second highest on record, 6% higher than the previous 12 months. Deforestation was worst in the state of Mato Grosso where vast swathes of land have been cleared to grow crops.
The loss of 26,000 sq km means almost a fifth of the entire Amazon has now been cleared. On this occasion, just under half of the deforestation occurred in Mato Grosso, where trees have been replaced with soy bean fields.
This article appeared originally in Mercopress.