On Friday (Aug. 2), Bolsonaro fired then-head of INPE, Ricardo Galvão, after the agency posted satellite data showing an 88% deforestation increase in June 2019 compared with June 2018.
He said: 'There is not the slightest doubt.
His comments came after Germany on Saturday said it would block payment of 35 million euros ($40 million) to Brazil for forest conservation and biodiversity programs until the Amazon's rate of decline attained encouraging levels once again.
New data from the Brazilian space research institute indicates a surge in deforestation in the Amazon over the last quarter.
They say destroying the Amazon and other rainforests will make global warming worse and cause irreversible damage to the planet.
Data for July 1 to July 25, the latest available, recorded 1,864 square kilometers of deforestation, more than triple the amount in the month of July previous year.
Concern about the forest has grown since Bolsonaro took office in January. "When you see how the world's population is increasing by 70 million a year, you need a family planning policy", said the former army officer, declining to use the term "birth control" for fear of an adverse media reaction.
Bolsonaro was annoyed by the data disclosure and even claimed that Galvão might be "at the service of some NGO".
Galvao agreed the DETER data should not be used to compare one month to the next because it was not perfectly able to differentiate exactly when deforestation occurred, but stressed this did not mean deforestation picked up by the system was not happening.
Bolsonaro wrote yesterday on his Facebook page: 'We are going to act effectively in the fight against illegal deforestation'. Ricardo Salles, Environment Minister, and Marcos Pontes, Science and Technology Minister, spoke out against information on deforestation provided by INPE.
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