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Brazil rejects G7 aid to fight fires in the Amazon and calls on states to "reforest Europe" instead



According to Brazilian officials, the government will reject more than $ 22 million (GBP 18 million) pledged at the Biarritz G7 summit to fight Amazonian raging forest fires for further fire-fighting deployments to record rainforest fires that have worried environmentalists.

Brazil did not immediately have a reason to refuse the money, but its President, Jair Bolsonaro, has previously accused Mr Macron of having a colonialist mindset at the summit of the leading industrial nations in France.


The chief of staff of Bolsonaro, Onyx Lorenzoni, told the G1 news website: "We value [the offer] but perhaps these resources are more relevant to the reforestation of Europe".

And in continuation of the fierce Spits between France and Brazil, which threatened to overshadow the three-day summit, Lorenzoni suggested that the aid would be hypocritical after the fire in April in Paris Notre Dame Cathedral.

        
    

            
            
            
            
          
            
    

Brazil's sovereignty must be respected, he said, but the world could help Brazil reforge and rebuild its economy "while preserving its natural balance".

About 60 percent of the Amazon region is in Brazil. The extensive forest also covers parts of Bolivia, Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guyana, Peru and Suriname.

Following the G7 summit, Mr Macron said on French television that Europe was partly to blame for agricultural pressures on the rainforest by importing soya from Brazil.

He added that Europe's dependence on imported protein, including soy, for animal feed is "a very bad choice" and that Europe should develop alternative sources of protein.

Mr. Bolsonaro has accused Mr. Macron of treating the region "as if we were a colony" and of accepting Western leaders as "colonialist thinking".

The Brazilian president announced that he would send 44,000 soldiers to fight the flames, and military aircraft began to throw water on fire in the Amazonian state of Rondonia.

The move was greeted by many critics, but some say it's not enough and he's late.

Brazil has been discredited for violating environmental agreements and "can not play a leading role on the international stage," said Mauricio Santoro, a professor of international relations at Rio de Janeiro State University.

Critics say that the great number of fires this year have been fueled by Mr. Bolsonaro's encouragement of farmers, lumberjacks and ranchers to clear the forest. Although Mr. Bolsonaro has now sworn to protect the area, it was said that this was only out of fear of a diplomatic crisis and economic losses.

Additional reporting by agencies


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