French President Emmanuel Macron has angered his Brazil’s far-right colleague Jair Bolsonaro with a tweet over the ongoing fires in Amazon rain forest. Macron used the hashtag #ActForTheAmazon to raise awareness and to point out that the world leaders need to address the topic during the upcoming G7 meeting in Biarritz.
According to Macron, the ongoing fires in the Amazon rainforest are not a local issue, but an international crisis as the Amazon produces 20% of our oxygen.
In response, Jair Bolsonaro accused Macron of using the ”internal situation” in the Amazon for his ”political gain.” As for the Macron’s suggestion to put the fires high on the G7 agenda, Bolsonaro said it was not appropriate. For him, discussing the Amazon forest fires without the countries in the region was an expression of the ”reminiscent of a colonial mindset.”
Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States are the G7 nations to participate in the Biarritz summit taking place August 24 – August 26 in France.
Numerous environmental organizations and scientific researchers already alarmed that the wildfires in the Brazilian rainforest were human-lit. According to the academic and non-profit organizations, they were set by local ranchers and loggers who need more land to expand their business, backed up by the president Bolsonaro.
Christian Poirier, the program director of Amazon Watch, explained that unlike the dry areas in California or Australia, the humid rainforest in Brazil does not catch on fire easily, even during the dry season.
As Poirier also confirmed, the local farmers have been using fire to clear land and expand their production site for a long time now. However, what is happening now, is in unusually high volumes, stated Poirier.
Brazil’s space research center (INPE) echoed his words. In a statement earlier this week, INPE confirmed that the number of fires in the Amazon rainforest is 80% higher than last year. The consequences for the local flora and fauna are disastrous, INPE said.
Alberto Setzer, a senior scientist at INPE, went further to emphasize that 99% of the fire result from human activities. According to him, the burning can range from a small-scale agricultural practice to real deforestation for a high-tech agricultural business project.
While the previous government put efforts to preserve the rainforest and the unique indigenous territories in the Amazon, the current president Bolsonaro is encouraging the illegal practices to destroy the forest, Nigel Sizer of Rainforest Alliance said.
In his words, what is currently happening in the Amazon rainforest is illegal, and the people behind it have government protection.
What do you think? Do you agree or disagree with the Emmanuel Macron’s statement that the G7 countries should put the Amazon rain forest fires high on their agenda?