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Home / World / Brazil’s Jair Bolsanaro calls the new Amazon fire a “lie” – as videos show the rainforest on fire

Brazil’s Jair Bolsanaro calls the new Amazon fire a “lie” – as videos show the rainforest on fire



Fires are currently erupting in the Amazon rainforest may be even more devastating than last year, but the Brazilian government is denying they even exist. On Tuesday, the President Jair Bolsonaro calling the fire a “lie” – because the photos and videos from the area showed the forest was on fire.

Fires at Amazon in August hit a nine-year high in 2019 – but this month appears to continue to lead the record. Officials recorded more than 10,000 fires in the first 10 days of the month, up 1

7 percent from this time last year, according to data from INPE, a federal institute that monitors the fires.

According to Reuters, members of the Leticia Treaty, an agreement between South American countries to protect the Amazon, met on Tuesday. While talking to other leaders, Bolsonaro angrily denied the existence of the fire, challenged officials to fly over Amazon and try to spot a single fire.

According to Reuters, he said: “They will not find any burning points, nor a quarter of the forest destroyed. “The story that Amazon is on fire is a lie and we must fight it with real numbers.”

A member of the fire brigade of the Brazilian Institute of the Environment and Renewable Natural Resources (IBAMA) embraces a dead anteater while trying to control hotspots in an Amazon jungle near Apui
A member of the fire brigade of the Brazilian Institute of the Environment and Renewable Natural Resources (IBAMA) holding a dead anteater while trying to control hotspots in an Amazon jungle area near Apui, state of Amazonas, Brazil, August 11, 2020.

UESLEI MARCELINO / REUTERS


Also in the speech, Bolsanaro said that Brazil does not need help protect Amazon, assuming that most of the forest is still standing. He claimed the forest did not catch fire because it was wet, prompting the media and foreign leaders to criticize him.

Bolsonaro adopted a similar tactic last year, arguing with world leaders over a massive fire in the rainforest. attracting global attention. At the time, he fired the head of INPE, Ricardo Galvao, the agency’s data guard on the devastation of the fire.

But the fire did not happen naturally. Experts say most of them are man-made to clear the land for farming.

Deforestation has increased by almost 35% from July 2019 to July 2020, despite alleged government efforts to combat it.

In June, 34 major international investors put pressure on the Brazilian government to protect the forests, threatening to divest from Brazilian companies if there is no change, according to Reuters. A federal decree on July 16 banned deforestation for 120 days in the Amazon during the dry season of the area.

Traces of the Amazon rainforest burned down when cleared by loggers and farmers near Apui
A stretch of the Amazon rainforest burns down when it is cleared by loggers and farmers near Apui, Amazonas state, Brazil on August 8, 2020.

UESLEI MARCELINO / REUTERS


Despite the ban, July saw 6,803 fires, compared with 5,318 a year ago – an increase of nearly 30%.

Bolsonaro’s administration has spoken out about it intent to develop Amazon. In May, the country’s Environment Minister Ricardo Salles said that the government should loosen environmental regulations while the world is distracted by pandemic caused by the corona virus.

Conservation of the world’s largest rainforest is crucial to combating climate change. This dense collection of trees is responsible for absorbing about 5% of the world’s carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions annually.

Scientists warn that it may only be a few years before this ecosystem peaks and converts into a more expansive savanna, with the ability to absorb greenhouse gases and buffer the Earth against gas change. Very little end.

The panorama of the old Amazon forest burned down when cleared by loggers and farmers near Apui
Overview of the Amazon rainforest caught fire when cleared by loggers and farmers near Apui, Amazonas state, Brazil August 11, 2020.

UESLEI MARCELINO / REUTERS



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