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Brazil and France clash due to Amazon wildfires as tensions about the situation heat up

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The
Brazilian President has accused France as well as other countries of
interfering in the situation and also of having a “colonialist mindset”, as
they show their concerns for the Amazon rainforest, which has been burning for
around three weeks.

The number
of forest fires in Brazil since January has been staggering, with the total
reaching more than 74,000, an increase of 83% when compared to the same period
last year. The fires have produced smoke that is visible from more than 600
kilometres up in space.

With the
Amazon being described as the world’s lungs due to it being a prime absorber of
carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, world leaders have become increasingly
worried about the situation.

One of the
leaders that has been angered by the situation is the Irish prime minister, Leo
Vardakar, who said that Ireland will try to go against a possible free trade
deal between the European Union and South American Mercosur bloc “if Brazil
does not honour its environmental commitments.”

One of the
most influential leaders in the world, French President Emmanuel Macron, wrote
on Twitter that this is an “international crisis”, adding that “Our house is
burning. Literally.”

Macron went
even further to say that “The Amazon rainforest – the lungs which produce 20%
of our planet’s oxygen – is on fire.”

However, the
Brazilian President, Jair Bolsonaro responded to his critics through Twitter,
saying “I regret that Macron seeks to make personal political gains in an
internal matter for Brazil and other Amazonian countries. The sensationalist
tone he used does nothing to solve the problem.”

He also
added that “The French president’s suggestion that Amazonian matters he
discussed at the G7 without the involvement of countries of the region recalls
the colonialist mindset that is unacceptable in the 21st century.”

Mr Bolsonaro
also criticised news organisations, saying that they had exploited the fires
and put Brazil in a negative view of the world because “Most of the media wants
Brazil to end up like Venezuela.”

These
comments have sparked even more controversy, with Kumi Naidoo, Amnesty
International’s secretary-general, claiming that “Instead of spreading
outrageous lies or denying the scale of deforestation taking place, we urge the
president to take immediate action to halt the progress of these fires.”

Whilst fires
in the rainforest during this time of year are not uncommon, plenty of
environmentalists are blaming the increase of wildfires on farmers deliberately
setting fires in order to clear land for agriculture. Mr Bolsonaro admitted on
Thursday that this could in fact be the reason for the fires, just a day after
he had blamed environmental groups for the fires, claiming that they had done
so in order to shed a negative light on Brazil’s authorities.

Even before
the fires, Mr Bolsonaro was under immense criticism for his decision to allow
the development of mines, agriculture and logging companies in order to meet
the increasing demands of these sectors, just eight months after he was elected
as president.

Furthermore,
Norway and Germany stopped funding anti-deforestation projects in Brazil this
month, as they have become worried about the ongoing changes to how projects
are chosen and eventually implemented by Mr Bolsonaro. However, at the time the
president said that the funding was not need as many had thought it was.

An estimated
measure by Express.co.uk shows that around 640 million acres have been affected
by the fire in some way.

The post Brazil and France clash due to Amazon wildfires as tensions about the situation heat up appeared first on maltawinds.com.

Original article found on Malta Winds

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