Ueslei Marcelino / Reuters
French President Emmanuel Macron calls on world leaders to put the massive fires that are destroying the Amazon in Brazil high on their agenda while gathering in southwestern France for the G7 Summit.
"Our house is burning The Amazon Rainforest – the lung that produces 20% of the planet's oxygen – is on fire," wrote Macron in a tweet on Thursday. "It's an international crisis, members of the G7 summit, let's talk about this first emergency response in two days!"
France hosts the summit in the city of Biarritz on the Atlantic coast, which begins on Saturday. President Trump and heads of state from Canada, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United Kingdom will also attend.
Our house is on fire. Literally. The Amazon Rainforest – the lung that produces 20% of our planet's oxygen – burns. It is an international crisis. Members of the G7 summit, let's discuss this first emergency order in two days! #ActForTheAmazon pic.twitter.com/dogOJj9big
– Emmanuel Macron (@EmmanuelMacron) August 22, 2019
U.N. Secretary General António Guterres echoed Macron, saying in a tweet, "We can not afford to do more harm to an important source of oxygen and biodiversity – the Amazon has to be protected."
I am deeply concerned about the fires in the Amazon rainforest. In the midst of the global climate crisis, we can not afford to do more harm to an important source of oxygen and biodiversity.
The Amazon must be protected.
– António Guterres (@antonioguterres) August 22, 2019
An estimated 2,500 active fires in the Amazon have sparked international concern and a backlash against Brazil's rights sparked President Jair Bolsonaro's actions to protect the rainforest as "obstacles "called for economic growth. Bolsonaro, who took office in January, has repeatedly stated that he wants to open the Amazon for development. Environmentalists say Bolsonaro's attitude towards the Amazon has encouraged them, as have ranchers, loggers and miners.
very strong "indication that some non-governmental organizations have kindled the fires as a retaliatory measure for the loss of funds from its administration.
They criticized Bolsonaro's inaction and said they were holding back $ 60 million in funding for sustainability projects in Brazil's forests.
Bolsonaro's chief of staff, Onyx Lorenzoni, on Thursday accused European countries of exaggerating environmental concerns to quell the development of the rainforest.
"There is deforestation in Brazil, yes, but not in the speed and altitude they specify," the Brazilian news site globo.com said
in a tweet later Bolsonaro Macron replied on Thursday: "Me regret that Macron is trying to achieve personal political gains in an internal matter for Brazil and other Amazonian countries. The sensational sound he used does not solve the problem. "
Bolsonaro has also accused the media of playing up the fires to undermine him." Most media want Brazil to end up like Venezuela, "he said.
In an announcement by the National Institute for Space Research (1965), INPE) this week, the agency said there have been 74,155 fires in the country so far – about half last month and most of them in the Amazon, an increase of 84% over the previous year
Attorney General in Para State – one of the hardest hit areas – has announced an investigation into why forest fires have increased so much this year.
Neighboring Bolivia also struggled to stem the fires.