Amazon: Brazil refuses G7 aid for fires

Amazon: Brazil refuses G7 aid for fires

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Summer 2019 will sadly go down in history. Not only for its record temperatures but above all for the terrifying fires that have ravaged the planet, even in its most remote places. In the polar regions, the fires have reached an unprecedented number in the last 10 thousand years, causing a series of very serious consequences for the climate and biodiversity.

Now it's the turn ofAmazonia, our great green lung.

The Amazon burns: the background

From what the data of theNational Institute for Space Research (Inpe) of Brazil, an unprecedented surge of fires occurred in the Amazon between January and August 2019. There are about 72,000 against 40,000 in 2018. The increase is 83%.

The Amazon in this period of the year goes through its dry season, which runs from June to November. But the fires that flare up in the immense rain forest they are in the vast majority of cases malicious. These are fires started voluntarily in an illegal form, by farmers to obtain pastures and by farmers in order to expand the amount of land to be cultivated.

Behind the increase in fires and related deforestation, the support of the Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, supporter of a policy that favors the powerful world of local agribusiness, giving priority to economic development rather than protecting the environment.

Since the new government took office, deforestation and fires have skyrocketed, breaking all records. Last July, the deforestation registered a 278% increase compared to the previous year, for a total of 1,345 sq km. An impressive figure: it is as if three football fields disappear per minute.

Producers and companies continue to burn and deforest without interruption, feeling legitimized by the support of the government.

The world political reaction

In the meantime, the spotlight of international attention has turned on the ongoing environmental tragedy. Alongside the bewilderment and appeals of ordinary citizens, personalities and associations from all corners of the globe, there was no lack of political intervention.

The French President Emmanuel Macron raised the alarm on Twitter, talking about "international crisis"And asking the G7 to put the issue on the agenda of its summit, foreseen in Biarritz from 24 to 26 August 2019. Bolsonaro replies that, with tweets, he accused Macron of using a "sensationalist tone" that "it evokes a colonial mentality out of place in the 21st century”.

The Amazon fires were actually discussed during the G7. The big seven of the planet have decided to urgently release 20 million dollars for the sending of Canadair aircraft to actively fight against the fires.

However, an unexpected reaction came from the Brazilian government. Brazil refused the offer of aid, with very hard terms. "We thank, but these funds could be more useful for the reforestation of Europe“He wrote on a blog Onyx Lorenzoni, Chief of Staff of President Jair Bolsonaro. It's still: "Brazil is a democratic and free country that has never had colonialist and imperialist practices, which is perhaps the goal of President Macron“.

In the Brazilian response, the fire that hit the city last April was also raised Notre Dame Cathedral. Lorenzoni in fact criticized Macron, arguing that he did not want to receive lessons from a president who “nNor can it avoid a foreseeable fire in a church that is a world heritage site”.

The refusal of the Brazilian government is even more striking because the Minister of the Environment, Ricardo Salles, previously told reporters that he welcomed the G7 funding.

While the clash between the Brazilian and the French Head of State is consummated between back and forth, theAmazonia continues to burn relentlessly. And the problem is certainly not limited to Brazil alone but closely concerns all of us. The progressive destruction of the green lung represents irreparable damage to world biodiversity. The carbon emissions fires can also contribute heavily to global warming.

The environment is being sacrificed for the umpteenth time in the name of the much-proclaimed economic "progress". But the repercussions that will derive from this disaster will not be long in making themselves felt.

Update as of August 28: Bolsonaro has second thoughts and accepts financial support

New twist in the Amazon story. Brazil has declared its willingness to accept foreign aid to fight the fires that are ravaging the rainforest. The spokesman for President Jair Bolsonaro, Otavio Rego Barros, reported this with this statement: “The Brazilian government through President Bolsonaro is open to receiving financial support from organizations and also from nations. The essential point - warned the spokesman however - is that this money entering Brazil is under the control of the Brazilian people ”.

Video: Germany: Berliners blame Brazils Bolsonaro for Amazon wildfires (July 2022).


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