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Brazilian government defends record on Amazon deforestation

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By Richard Good
Brazilian government defends record on Amazon deforestation
Copyright  REUTERS/Nacho Doce/File Photo

The Brazilian government of Jair Bolsonaro has defended its record on exploiting Amazon forests — saying its strategy is to make intelligent use of the country’s natural resources.

Norway and Germany have withdrawn financial aid to Brazil after a joint steering committee designed to oversee environmental projects was unilaterally shut down by the government.

But Bolsonaro has mocked the move, saying that Angela Merkel should keep her money and use it to reforest Germany, while accusing Norway of being hypocritical, saying a country that hunts whales and drills for petrol was no example to follow.

Satellite images from Brazil’s own space agency allegedly show that the rate of deforestation in the Amazon has almost tripled since Bolsonaro’s government came to power. The government denies the claim and has sacked the scientist responsible for publishing the data.