The Amazon belongs to Brazil and European countries can mind their own business because they have already destroyed their own environment, said Brazil’s far-right president Jair Bolsonaro, who also described his own government’s satellite data showing an alarming rise in deforestation as “lies”.
“You have to understand that the Amazon is Brazil’s, not yours,” Bolsonaro said on Friday. “If all this devastation you accuse us of doing was done in the past the Amazon would have stopped existing, it would be a big desert.”
But Brazil is opening to partnerships exploiting biodiversity and mining – even in Amazon areas, said Bolsonaro, during a wide-ranging, one-hour conversation with foreign journalists.
He also said he was “fulfilling a mission from God” and described Brexit as “the will of the people” – although he admitted he had never heard of the UK’s likely next prime minister, Boris Johnson.
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