Monday, 06 July, 2020

Brazil delegation says Trump meeting about Amazon fires was a ‘special moment’

Smokes rises from forest fires in Altamira Para state Brazil in the Amazon basin Smokes rises from forest fires in Altamira Para state Brazil in the Amazon basin
Deanna Wagner | 01 September, 2019, 21:57

He initially rejected the money unless his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron withdrew "insults" made against him.

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro's son and hopeful ambassador to the United States is set to travel to Washington Friday to thank Donald Trump for his support during the crisis surrounding the fires in the Amazon rainforest.

In the first 48 hours since the ban was issued, satellite data from the National Space Research Institute (INPE) showed 3,859 new outbreaks of fire, of which some 2,000 were concentrated in the Amazon region.

Authorities only offered concrete statistics for the northwestern state of Rondonia, which borders Bolivia, a country whose Amazon region also has been affected by the blazes.

Bolsonaro suggested -without citing evidence - that environmental groups were setting illegal fires to try to destabilize his government and sparred with French President Emmanuel Macron and other European leaders who questioned his commitment to protecting the Amazon ecosystem.

Chilean President Sebastian Pinera announced that his country will send four water bombers to help fight the Brazilian blazes.

Bolsonaro later said Brazil would accept bilateral aid to fight the fires, but has insisted the Latin American country must control the money.

Araujo said Trump agreed with Brasilia's position that the rest of the world should keep out of Brazil's affairs. A letter released this week and signed by more than 500 workers from the Brazilian environmental agency IBAMA said a lack of government support had hurt their work and led to an increase in environmental crimes in the Amazon and elsewhere.

Brazil delegation says Trump meeting about Amazon fires was a ‘special moment’
Brazil delegation says Trump meeting about Amazon fires was a ‘special moment’

Macron also accused Bolsonaro of lying to him about Brazil's climate change stance.

Deforestation and field burning - common practices even among indigenous communities - are used to prepare land for agriculture and ranching and are allowed in the Amazon under certain laws that will be suspended over the next 60 days.

"All companies sourcing from Brazil must immediately distance themselves from Bolsonaro's destructive agenda", he added.

On the same day as the ban took effect, 2,300 new fires were detected - a lot of them in the Amazon basin - taking the total number for this year to 87,257, the latest figures from the National Institute for Space Research show.

Police on Thursday arrested three people for burning several thousands hectares in a conservation area in Para.

Almost 1,500 of the new fires were in the vast Amazon basin.

Although the new decree won't do much to stop illegal fires, it hopes to curtail the leading force behind the recent fires in the Amazon: deforestation.

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