The Brazilian government extended through April 30, 2021 Operation Green Brazil 2, which prevents and counters environmental crimes in the Amazon region. The Ministry of Defense (MD, in Portuguese) coordinates the initiative by deploying members of the Armed Forces and Public Safety and Environmental Protection agencies.
Green Brazil 2, launched in May 2020, fights fire outbreaks, deforestation, and illegal mining. The 5 million kilometer region, known as the Legal Amazon, includes the states of Acre, Amapá, Amazonas, Mato Grosso, Pará, Rondônia, Roraima, Tocantins, and parts of Maranhão.
To date, the operation has deployed some 3,400 service members and 300 agents from partner institutions, who have used 160 vehicles, 42 vessels, two ships, and 11 aircraft. According to the MD, the number of service members may be increased if necessary.
Service members and agents have been operating for over six months and have carried out 52,000 inspections, maritime and land patrols, including highway roadblocks and surveillance. To date, close to 100,000 hectares of land were interdicted.
According to MD, the fines and terms of infractions imposed are greater than $350 million. “This amount is seven times more than the amount invested in the operation itself,” according to the MD’s official website.
Since its inception, the operation fought more than 7,500 fire outbreaks; carried out more than 183 arrests on the scene of a crime; seized 178,000 cubic meters of illegal lumber, 26,300 arms and ammunition, and 390 kilograms of drugs. Safety and Environmental Protection agencies conducted more than 1,200 logistics support operations and seized 36,774 liters of fuel.
“There is flawless integration between the Armed Forces and all organizations and partner agencies in activities carried out throughout the Legal Amazon,” said Brazilian Army Major General José Eduardo Leal de Oliveira, deputy chief of MD Operations. The significant results achieved until now are due to this integration. During the operations, remote sensing mechanisms such as satellites, radars, and aerial surveys are used to select the regions that will be targeted for a mission.
According to the MD, the performance of service members in Operation Green Brazil 2 has made it possible to expand the State’s presence in the Amazon region. The logistics of the Armed Forces, with the use of helicopters, aircraft, ships, vessels, vehicles, and the establishment of advanced support bases, have enhanced and facilitated the work of environmental agents, allowing for a more effective surveillance and protection of the Legal Amazon.