The workers’ union of the National Institute for Space Research (SindCT) published a note this Monday (6) rejecting what they called “another attack by the Bolsonaro government” on the organ.
The union cites a federal government ruling released last Thursday (2) that creates a “Thematic Advisory Chamber” to “qualify deforestation and fire data to distinguish environmental crime from other activities using databases of existing officers.” The news was published by Estadão.
Although the INPE has monitored and qualified data on deforestation and fires since the 1980s, this body was not included in the Chamber, nor was the representative of the ministry with which it is affiliated, the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MCTI).
According to the decree, the group will include only representatives of the ministries of the environment, agriculture, defense, economy and justice.
“The national and international scientific community is ready to further expose this absurdity. We call on all INPE employees and society to declare their rejection of the attempt to de-competence those who, in more than 60 years of their existence, have only demonstrated competence,” the union said in a statement.
From the very beginning of Bolsonaro’s rule, INPE data were questioned by government officials and the president himself. Accusations—never proven—that the data obtained by the Institute were “false” and “inaccurate” led to a crisis between the agency and the federal government, culminating in the dismissal of then-director Ricardo Galvan and an internal reformulation of the body.
The vice-president, in turn, has already personally “confirmed” that there are no fires in the Amazon and that the detected hot spots can be hot rocks.