Brazil is home to the largest swath of the mesmerizing Amazon rainforest, but unfortunately, its government has allowed mass deforestation to occur under its watch. The good news—we say with an air of caution—is that the Brazilian government seems to be finally taking the issue seriously after it deployed thousands of soldiers to protect the Amazon.
Deforestation hit an 11-year high last year, spurring an outcry and criticism that Brazil was not doing enough to protect the world’s largest rainforest. Apparently, that criticism has been heard as Vice President Hamilton Mourao admitted.
Fernando Azevedo, the defense minister, said the armed forces would establish bases in three Amazon cities, with 3,800 troops mobilized against illegal logging and other crimes, at an initial estimated operational cost of $10 million. Azevedo said each base was also assigned five specialists in chemical warfare to help avoid spreading the novel coronavirus through the operations.
It seems absurd that we must deploy armed forces to protect a rainforest that provides much of the world’s oxygen—and we will have to wait to see whether or not it proves successful. But as always, The Optimist Daily keep tabs on this story’s development as the health of the Amazon matters to us all.