Nationalist politics is often linked protectionist policies and to a deprioritization of environmental issues. Recently elected neo-nationalist Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro has committed to opening up the Amazon for more development. His current plan entails weakening environmental protection laws and enforcement, essentially offering up the Amazon baisin to agribusiness, mining and logging. This legislation could significantly threaten the Amazon rainforest as a protected ecosystem, indigenous homeland, and carbon sink.
Brazil had previously pledged to effectively end deforestation by the year 2030, launching a project in 2017 to plant 73 million trees. Akin to Trump’s u-turn on the Paris Agreement, Bolsonaro’s plans could undo years of progress in this important region.