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With information from G1

SÃO PAULO – The vice president of Brazil, Hamilton Mourão, announced on Wednesday, 10, that the government will focus the inspection on a list of cities that concentrate “70% of environmental crimes” in the country. These cities are the 11 with the largest area of ​​deforestation in the Amazon between August 2019 and July 2020 and together represent 40.5% of what was lost in the forest in the period, according to data from the National Institute for Special Research (Inpe).

According to data from Inpe, the cities Altamira (PA), São Félix do Xingu (PA), Porto Velho (RO), Lábrea (AM), Novo Progresso (PA), Itaituba (PA), Apuí (AM), Pacajá (PA), Colniza (MT) ), Portel (PA), Novo Repartimento (PA) totaled 3,963.75 km² of deforestation between August 2019 and July 2020. The number represents 40.5% of the total lost in the Amazon in the same period: 9,780.56 km².

The city of Novo Repartimento, 11th in the ranking, does not appear on the government’s list of priorities. However, the government included among the focus of inspection the city of Rurópolis, in the state of Pará, which is in 24th place in the deforestation ranking, with 98.64 km² of forest loss between August 2019 and July 2020 and, therefore, does not appear at the top of the list.

Two of these cities are also among the 10 with the largest cattle herds in the country: São Félix do Xingu and Porto Velho. Agriculture is identified as the cause of 90% of the loss of natural vegetation in Brazil, including other biomes, such as Pantanal and Cerrado.

Inspection goals

Mourão spoke about the inspection goals after leading the meeting of the National Council of the Amazon. The vice president chairs the collegiate that was recreated a year ago by President Jair Bolsonaro in an attempt to respond to criticism in Brazil and abroad of his environmental policy.

At the meeting, the Amazon 21/21 Plan was presented, which should replace Operation Green Brazil 2, conducted by the military. The Army is expected to end its inspection work on April 30.

Thus, the inspection of the Amazon will once again be exercised primarily by civil bodies, such as the Brazilian Institute for the Environment and Renewable Natural Resources (Ibama) and the Chico Mendes Institute for Biodiversity Conservation (ICMBio).

According to the government, as these bodies have smaller teams compared to the Armed Forces, the actions will be concentrated. “These 11 municipalities were listed as priority areas since by concentrating our efforts in this region, we can obtain a significant reduction in these environmental crimes”, said the vice president of the Republic Hamilton Mourão.