Tesla and SpaceX founder Elon Musk met with Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro on Friday to talk about rural internet connectivity and efforts to preserve the Amazon rainforest.
The meeting was held in a seaside resort in the state of Sao Paulo and was organized by the Minister of Communications, Fábio Faria. The minister said he wanted partnerships with Musk to create or boost internet connectivity in schools and health facilities in rural areas of the country using SpaceX and Starlink technology, as well as to preserve the Amazon rainforest.
“Super excited to be in Brazil for the launch of Starlink for 19,000 unconnected schools in rural areas and Amazon’s environmental monitoring,” Musk wrote in a tweet Friday morning.
Illegal activities in the rainforest are monitored by several entities, including the national space agency, federal police and environmental regulator Ibama.
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Deforestation in the Amazon has seen a slight increase during Bolsonaro’s tenure as leader of Brazil. Data from the national space agency last year showed the rainforest had reached its highest annual deforestation rate in 15 years.
Bolsonaro’s critics attribute this to the Brazilian president for emboldening loggers and land grabbers with his passionate support for the region’s development.
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The president said at the event with Musk that the rainforest is “really important” to Brazil.
“We are counting on Elon Musk to make the Amazon known to everyone in Brazil and around the world, to show the exuberance of this region, how we preserve it, and how much harm is done to us by those who spread lies about this region. . ,” he said.
Both Bolsonaro and Musk appeared on stage and answered questions from a group of students about the projects.
“A lot can be done to improve quality of life through technology,” Musk said.
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The students did not ask about the billionaire’s potential purchase of Twitter, although Bolsonaro said it represented a “breath of hope”.
“Freedom is the glue of the future,” he said, adding that he thought Musk was a “legend of freedom.”
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Musk was set to take over Twitter after buying the company for $44 billion last month. But he revealed last week that the deal was temporarily on hold until the social media giant could back up his claims about the number of spam accounts on the platform.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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