Fires are roaring through the Amazon (Photo: Adobe. Do not use without permission) - Media Credit:

Brazilian PM Accuses Environmental Groups Of Starting Amazon Forest Fires

By

4 Minutes Read

Brazil’s prime minister has accused environmental groups of starting fires that are ripping through the Amazon rainforest – though has provided no evidence for this claim.

The area has seen a record number of fires this year, with the National Institute for Space Research (Inpe), it detecting 72,843 fires between January and August – a staggering increase of 84 percent on the same period in 2018. 

The Amazon Rainforest, the world’s largest tropical forest, is not only home to around one million indigenous people and three million species of plants and animals, it also slows down the pace of global warming, as a vital carbon store.

View this post on Instagram

#Repost @wwf_uk ???????????????????????????????? • • • • • • ???????????????????????????????? ¿Cómo ayudar en la catástrofe que vive la Amazonia? ???????????????????????????????? 1. Infórmate tanto como puedas sobre las graves amenazas que enfrenta esta región. 2. Usa el poder de tus redes sociales para compartir esta información. 3. Incluye más opciones vegetarianas en tu dieta y elige productos que no estén asociados a la deforestación. 4. Exige al Gobierno que tome acciones urgentes para detener la deforestación en la selva húmeda tropical más grande del planeta. 5. Dona para la protección de la Amazonia. ???????????????????????????????? ???????????????????????????????? ….. ???????????????????????????????? There was worldwide outcry when the Notre Dame cathedral was on fire. Why is there not the same level of outrage for the fires destroying the #AmazonRainforest? . #FightForYourWorld #Deforestation #ClimateCrisis #Rainforest #Amazon #Amazonia

A post shared by WWF Colombia (@wwf_colombia) on

Prime minister

PM Jair Bolsonaro is being blamed by many for the blaze, as he pledged to develop the region for farming and mining when he took office in January, despite the warnings of conservationists around deforestation.

In the last decade, Brazilian governments had slowed the rate of deforestation, implementing a system of fines and action by federal agencies, with Greenpeace Brazil accusing the politician of ‘systematically dismantling Brazil’s environmental policy’.

But there has been a decline in the number of environmental crime convictions and timber confiscations under Bolsonaro, who has criticized the penalties implemented by former ministers.

View this post on Instagram

The world’s largest rainforest is deliberately being burnt down by cattle farmers in efforts to deforest land in order to meet the demand for animal products. The amazon absorbs 2.2 billion tons of carbon dioxide every year and produces more than 20% of the world’s oxygen. This rainforest is essentially the lungs of our earth. Not to mention there are millions of species burning down with the Amazon ?. We need to raise awareness on this topic, but for some reason no one likes to talk about it. What you choose to eat has a direct impact on our world and on others. Raising cows for food is the leading cause of deforestation, species extinction and habitat destruction. My friend @brinkleydavies said it best, “It’s not only the animal you’re eating that you’re killing, it’s everything.” Right now would be a fantastic time to watch the documentary @cowspiracy on Netflix if you haven’t yet. I want to thank everyone that is doing their best to fight for this rainforest, including the firefighters & activists. #prayforamazonia #deforestation #climatecrisis #veganfortheenvironment ??

A post shared by TIARAH? (@tiablanco) on

Environmental groups

Now Bolsonaro claims environmentalists started the fires in a bid to embarrass his government.

“On the question of burning in the Amazon, which in my opinion may have been initiated by NGOs because they lost money, what is the intention? To bring problems to Brazil,” he is reported as saying.

Reports say that when pressed on this statement, Bolsonaro admitted there was was no evidence, it was just what he felt.

‘A sick statement’

The PM’s words have been challenged by environmentalists including Marcio Astrini, Greenpeace Brazil’s public policy coordinator, who said: “This is a sick statement, a pitiful statement. Increased deforestation and burning are the result of his anti-environmental policy.”

Paulo Moutinho, co-founder of the Amazon Environmental Research Institute, added: “It is very difficult to have natural fires in the Amazon; it happens but the majority come from the hand of humans.”

Reports say it is unclear which of the blazes are wildfires and which were deliberately set by farmers.

Millions around the world trust Plant Based News for content about navigating our changing planet & our role in it.

Our independent team of journalists and experts are committed to making an impact through a wide range of content—and you can help by supporting our work today.

heading/author

The Author

Maria Chiorando

Maria is the former editor for Plant Based News. She has been a newspaper reporter and features writer. Her work has been published by The Guardian and The Huffington Post, among others

More by Maria Chiorando iconography/arrow-right

heading/comments

Leave a Comment

Plant Based News Comment Policy

In short:- If you act with maturity and consideration for other users, you should have no problems. Please read our Comment policy before commenting.

Comments are closed.

buttons/scroll-to-top/scroll-to-top-small-active