Amazon Forest is not for sale, Joe!

Brazil does not need Joe Biden’s money to keep the forest safe

In the first presidential debate on Sept 29, the former vice president Joe Biden offered $20 billion to “save” the Amazon forest. (Photo from of

Emily Mello, Photo Editor

During the first presidential debate held Sept 29, President Donald Trump and former vice president Joe Biden had the chance to present their ideas and concerns to the American people. 

One of the subjects addressed by Chris Wallace, the debate moderator, was about climate change and the Green New Deal. In response, Biden expressed his thoughts about the Amazon forest in Brazil. 

“The rainforest in Brazil it’s been torn down, more carbon has been absorbed in that rain forest that has submitted in the United States,” Biden said. “Instead of doing something about that I will be gathering, I will give them $20billion to stop terrain down the forest.” 

Joe Biden’s position about the Amazon forest was nonsense; I can testify that because being from Brazil gives me a different perspective than others. I know how the past administrations poorly handled the forest situation that led us to the condition that we are in now.  

Here are some of the critical points why Brazil shouldn’t accept any offers from anybody since the past administrations ended up causing the chaos that we see now. Without any doubt, we are paying a high price for the shoddy work done in past years. 

These critical facts about the Amazon forest situation have been studied and analyzed by some of the most knowledgeable and respectful Brazilian institutions looking at the forest area for years and years. They point out some critical effects that the past administrations and the international non-governmental organizations have had in impacting the Amazon forest lands over the past years these institutions are Instituto Brasileiro de Geografia e Estatística [IBGE]; Instituto Chico Mendes de Conservação da Biodiversidade [ICMB] and [INPE] Monitoramento da Floresta Amazônica Brasileira por Satélite. 

In recent years these institutions did a study that aimed at the impact of the international non-governmental organization’s interest in the Amazon forest land, one of the things they bring out about these institutions was that the money that they pretend to give to “save the Amazon forest” or to help develop the area where there are local communities, and the indigenous population lives never got to be used towards them.

The Instituto Chico Mendes de Conservação da Biodiversidade [ICMB] is one of the institutions that researched how the money is utilized towards preserving the forest and the local communities. They ended up finding that the money that was promised for the development of the area to build schools, hospitals, and to help preserve the environment never got to be used for these purposes. 

Another important point about the Amazon forest and why these organizations seem so worried about it is that in the underground of the forest, there is a mineral called niobium, which is utilized to make spaceship batteries for NASA. In an article written by two Brazilians reachers, Juliana Siqueira-Gay and Luis E.Sánchez, for the Environmental Science & Policy magazine, they emphasize the importance to “Keep the Amazon niobium in the ground.” showing that 98% of the niobium in the world can be found at the Amazon forest underground and the other 2% in Canada.   

After the debate was over, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro published an official note on his official Twitter account, repudiating the speech given by Biden during the debate. 

“What some have not understood is that Brazil has changed. Its president, unlike the left-wing presidents of the past, does not accept bribes,” Bolsonaro said, “Criminal land demarcation or coward threats towards our territorial and economic integrity.” 

Bolsonaro also says that his administration has been working together with Trump’s administration to generate employment for the Amazon population. 

“My government is putting forward unprecedented action to protect the Amazon forest and safeguard our environment,” Bolsonaro said. “Cooperation with the U.S. is welcome on every front, including on sustainable development and investments that may bring jobs to the Amazon population, such as initiatives that I’ve been negotiating with President Trump.”

In the last part of his official publication on his Twitter account, Bolsonaro disavowed Biden’s speech again. 

 “As a head of state which had brought Brazil-US relations closer than ever before, after decades of governments that were unfriendly towards the U.S.,” Bolsonaro said, “ It is tough to understand such a disastrous and unnecessary declaration, What a shame Mr. Joe Biden, What a shame.” 

As a Brazilian citizen, I feel very well represented by a president who stands for my country and does not allow anyone to “buy” or tries to impose a condition; it’s not how it works. I think that  Biden should look first at his country’s wildfires, which have been happening for years and years, and try to give this money to save his land and forest and not be so worried about the Amazon forest Brazil as much as he seems very concerned about it.