Brazil deployed thousands of soldiers on Monday to protect the Amazon, with precautions to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, as the government intends to combat growing deforestation ahead of a period of fire in the rainforest.
The armed forces have launched an operation alongside environmental representatives, police and members of other government agencies in a part of the Amazon rain forest located in the state of Rondonia, bordering Bolivia, said Brazilian Vice President Hamilton Mourao at a press conference.
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Deforestation in the Amazon grew 55% in the first four months of the year, compared with the same period in 2019, according to government data released on Friday. Last year, it reached an 11-year high. , causing an international outcry, voices rising to denounce the laxity of Brazil.
The Amazon rainforest, the largest carbon sink in the world, is 60% in the territory of Brazil, which de facto is a key country in the fight against climate change. "We don't want to be labeled by the rest of the world as the bad guy on the environment," said Mourao, as the military deployment comes three months earlier compared to last year.