Brazilian President to World on Amazon Fires: Butt Out - Page 2

'Our house is burning,' French leader says
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 23, 2019 6:44 AM CDT

  • Concern from Amnesty, UN. Amnesty International blamed the Brazilian government for the fire, saying land invasions and arson attacks had been documented in the region earlier this year, the AP reports. "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," says the group. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres also called for the Amazon to be protected, saying that "in the midst of the global climate crisis, we cannot afford more damage to a major source of oxygen and biodiversity."
  • Emboldened by Bolsonaro. Indigenous leaders say loggers and farmers, emboldened by Bolsonaro's call for more development, have been invading protected areas. They say animals are fleeing the rainforests as the fires rage. "We saw wild pigs, tapirs, armadillos, anteaters, snakes in larger numbers than we are used to," Adriano Karipuna, a leader in Rondonia state's Karipuna community, tells the New York Times. "We saw the forest covered in smoke, and the sky darkened. Our eyes became red due to the smoke."
  • A "suicide of the Amazon." Carlos Nobre, a senior researcher at the University of Sao Paulo, tells the Guardian that most Brazilians want to protect the rainforest, but international pressure may be the only way to get the government to change course before a "tipping point" of irreversible destruction is reached. "The agriculture sector in Brazil is very concerned that European consumers won’t buy Brazil produce," he says. "This may be the ultimate way to stop the Brazilian government from a suicide of the Amazon, which will have terrible consequences for the climate and for Brazil."
  • The scale of the fires. The National Institute for Space Research says that according to satellite data, there has been 85% increase in forest fires in Brazil this year compared the same period last year, the BBC reports. More than 75,000 fires have been recorded in the area, and neighboring countries are also dealing with a large number of fires: Around 26,000 fires were recorded in Venezuela, and 17,000 in Bolivia.
(Read more Amazon rainforest stories.)

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