A vote for the Amazon: why the Brazilian election result affects us all

Oct 06, 2022 | written by:

The final vote of Brazil's election will take place on October 30th. On that day, Brazilian voters will not only decide on the path forward for their country, but the results will also determine the future of the Amazon rainforest.

In numbers: why this election is so important for the planet

  • As much as 75% of the Amazon rainforest shows loss of resilience, that is, it's no longer able to recover from the effects of drought, deforestation and fires. [1]
  • The Amazon rainforest holds 70% of the biodiversity of our entire planet. [2]
  • 60% of the Amazon is located in Brazil.
  • This is why the decision of the 156 million Brazilians who went to the polls last Sunday to choose a new president affects us all.

Lush greenery in the Amazon rainforest

Who are the candidates?

There are two main candidates: on the right, the current president and former army captain, Jair Bolsonaro, on the left Luiz Inàcio Lula de Silva, former trade unionist and former president. The latter is running for office again after his corruption conviction was quashed.

The two men defend diametrically opposed world views, and the theme of the environment is no exception.

Jair Bolsonaro

  • According to data collected by the Brazilian Space Research Institute (INPE), in the first three years of his presidency, the Amazon deforestation rate increased by 75 percent.
  • Some 1,500 new pesticides have been approved since he took office, many of which contain ingredients banned in Europe.B5B17351-8BB7-4320-BCA1-3ACE6611CD7CCredits Larissa Miles Bombardi

  • Bolsonaro has always sided against the interests of the more-than 200 indigenous groups of the forest, many of who have come under threat for trying to protect their lands and their rights. The result has been increasing violence, with conflict rates at their highest since 1985.

64104B13-CF9B-41E7-8D91-E485B465EEDDCredits: Comissao Pastoral da Terra

Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva

  • Lula's candidacy is supported by Marina Silva. A central figure in the protests against deforestation, she contributed to the creation of a reserve of 2 million hectares managed by traditional communities.
  • When Lula came to power in 2003, deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon was dramatic. With the application of the so-called 'Forest Code' the deforestation rate fell by about 80% between 2004 and 2012.

Personal commitment, but also politics!

At Treedom, we deeply believe in the importance of the individual commitment of every citizen, but we know that real change will only come when our political representatives also take responsibility.

Read more about the Amazon


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