Former Brazilian president: Economic development and environmental protection are compatible goal

Brazil must combine economic development with environmental protection, said the country's former president Fernando Henrique Cardoso.


In recent weeks, as fires spread to the Amazon rainforest, the country has attracted worldwide attention. Former president Cardoso said that weather and human factors together led to the current fires.

"Fires are caused by two factors. There are some fires in the Amazon Rainforest every year during this season, because the weather is drier and fires are easy to burn. It is a natural phenomenon. However, these fires are more than that. Some people deliberately set or expand fires, thereby burning down the rainforest," said Cardoso. 

Burning Amazon rainforest. /VCG Photo

Burning Amazon rainforest. /VCG Photo

During Cardoso's administration, many revolutions were implemented to boost the economy, but he said he would never forget the importance of environmental protection for economic development.

"We cannot put economic development on the opposite side of environmental protection. We must integrate economic development with environmental protection. Rainforests are important to Brazil and the world. Brazil has a lot of arable land. Our situation is not such that we have to cut down the rainforest or there is no place to grow food. We must carefully research on what is needed to protect the environment, what can improve people's living conditions. And protecting the environment and improving economic benefits are not in conflict," he said.

Burning Amazon rainforest. /VCG Photo

Burning Amazon rainforest. /VCG Photo

There were 94,957 fires in Brazil between January 1 and August 28, up 75 percent from the same period last year, according to Brazil's National Institute for Space Studies (INES). More than half of the fires occurred in the Amazon.

(All images via VCG)

(Video edited by CGTN's Li Yujun)

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