Energy & Environment

Natural History Museum cancels event honoring Bolsonaro after pushback from climate activists

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The American Museum of Natural History in New York will no longer host an event honoring Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro following pushback from climate activists over the leader’s effort to open the Amazon rainforest for development.

The museum said it was “not the optimal location” to host the event where Bolsonaro would be receiving a person of the year award from the Brazilian-American Chamber of Commerce, according to the BBC.

The nonprofit organization honoring Bolsonaro contracted the museum’s Hall of Ocean Life for its annual gala slated to be held next month, but museum officials told the BBC that the event would take place at another location instead.

{mosads}Bolsonaro will be receiving the person of the year award for “his strongly stated intention of fostering closer commercial and diplomatic ties between Brazil and the United States and his firm commitment to building a strong and durable partnership between the two nations,” the organization’s website states.

In a tweet over the weekend, the museum said it wants “to make it clear that the Museum did not invite President Bolsonaro; he was invited as part of an external event.”

Additionally, the museum thanked people who took “the time to express their views” on the event.

On Monday, the museum officially announced it would no longer host the event, though it is unclear where it will now take place.

Bolsonaro has previously made clear his intent to open the largest rainforest in the world to development for economic purposes, a move that has drawn the ire of climate and conservation activists and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (D).

De Blasio referred to Bolsonaro as a “very dangerous human being,” citing his “overt racism and homophobia” and potential to influence the climate.

“He is unfortunately the person with the most ability to be able to impact what happens in the Amazon going forward,” De Blasio told radio station WNYC, according to the report.

Bolsonaro, who was sworn in as Brazil’s president in January, has a close relationship with President Trump and was hosted at the White House last month during his trip to Washington. The Brazilian leader has also drawn comparisons to the U.S. president, earning the nickname “Trump of the Tropics” during his campaign for president.

Tags Amazon rainforest Bill de Blasio Donald Trump Smithsonian
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