Brazilian elections heading for round two:

A defining month for the Brazilian Amazon

The Brazilian elections will go into a second round to decide if current president Bolsonaro or former president Lula will be elected president. The outcome may decide the fate of the Amazon rainforest and those who live there.

We are now entering a defining month for the Amazon rainforest," says Toerris Jaeger, Secretary-General of Rainforest Foundation Norway.

The first round of the Brazilian presidential elections yielded no clear winner. President candidate Lula received the largest share of votes but did not make the 50 percent threshold to win the election in the first round. The final round of elections will therefore stand between Lula and Bolsonaro on October 30th. This is a defining election for the Amazon as deforestation increased by 73% under president Bolsonaro due to his dismantling of environmental policies and institutions. During Lula’s previous presidency deforestation was reduced by 68 percent.

We are entering a decisive month for the future of our global environment. This election is vital for the protection of the Amazon rainforest and therefore vital for us all as halting climate change and biodiversity loss depends on protecting the rainforest.

Toerris Jaeger, Secretary-General of Rainforest Foundation Norway.

The election campaign has so far seen an increase in violence, including towards indigenous people. With another month before the elections are decided, Rainforest Foundation Norway fears increased forest crime and violence with criminals seeing this period as potentially the last opportunity to continue illegal activities unpunished.

“It is disturbing to witness the increased violence in Brazil and criminals using a de-facto amnesty for illegalities to destroy the rainforest. International leaders, businesses, and investors must keep a close eye on the situation and let clear results on the ground in Brazil be conditional for trade relations and investments,” says Jaeger.