Ricardo Galvão, the director of Brazil's National Space and Research Institute (INPE), said he was terminated on Friday after defending satellite data that showed deforestation was 88% higher in June compared to a year ago. Galvão said in a video statement on Facebook that the agency let him go after a meeting with Brazil's Minister of Science, Technology, Innovation and Communications, Marcos Pontes.He added that the scientific institute would continue to operate and it would now be up to Pontes to decide on his successor. An advisor to Pontes confirmed Galvão's comments to state news agency Agencia Brasil.
Bolsonaro claims the data is wrong
The scientist butted heads with Bolsonaro after the damning satellite data was released earlier in June, turning the international spotlight on the President's controversial plans to open up the world's largest rainforest to industry.Bolsonaro called the INPE's findings "lies" and said they were harmful for trade negotiations, according to Agencia Brasil. But Galvão stood firm, reaffirming the validity of his scientific institute, which has been monitoring the country's forests since the 1970s. He said the president had made "inappropriate accusations [of] people of the highest level of Brazilian science," in an interview with newspaper O Estado de S. Paulo.CNN contacted the Brazilian government for comment but has not received a response. Brazil's opposition leader in the lower house of Congress, Alessandro Molon, said in a tweet that Galvão "was attacked by the president and the environment minister for monitoring deforestation in the Amazon," adding that Bolsonaro wanted to "hide under his lies."
Controversial environmental policies
Bolsonaro, a former army captain, took office in January on the heels of a campaign pledging to restore theRead More – Source