• Sunday, Nov 29, 2020
  • Last Update : 09:58 am

Scientists: Fires spike in Brazil's Amazon

  • Published at 04:37 pm October 2nd, 2020
Brazil Amazon Pantanal
File photo: smoke rises from an illegally lit fire in Amazon rainforest reserve, south of Novo Progresso, in Para State on August 15, 2020 AFP

Most of the Amazon fires consist of agricultural burning on illegally deforested areas, even though the government banned all burning for four months from July

The number of forest fires in Brazil's Amazon increased sharply in September, figures released Thursday show, fueling growing criticism of President Jair Bolsonaro's environmental policies.

The National Institute of Space Research (INPE) said satellite imagery showed an increase of 61% in the number of fires in September, compared to the same period last year.

Satellites used by the institute detected 32,017 outbreaks last month in the Amazon, compared to 19,925 in the same month in 2019.

In the first nine months of the year, the total number of fires increased by 14% over the same period in 2019, the INPE said.

Despite the data from INPE, a world-renowned public body, far-right President Jair Bolsonaro has continued to denounce a campaign of "disinformation" about the Pantanal and the Amazon.

On Wednesday, Bolsonaro -- an ally of US President Donald Trump -- lashed out at US Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden for "disastrous and unnecessary" comments on destruction of the rainforest.

Biden said during the first presidential debate that if elected in November, he would raise $20 billion to help Brazil to "stop tearing down" the Amazon, threatening "significant economic consequences" if it did not.

Later, in a video address to a UN biodiversity summit, Bolsonaro said Brazil was "firm in its commitment to sustainable development and preserving our environmental wealth."

He accused "certain non-governmental organizations" of perpetrating "environmental crimes" to stain the country's image.

Most of the Amazon fires consist of agricultural burning on illegally deforested areas, even though the government banned all burning for four months from July.

Further south, in the Pantanal -- the world's largest wetlands -- the number of fires have almost tripled to 8,106, making September 2020 the worst month since the INPE began compiling statistics on the fires in 1998.

"Brazil is in flames. From the Amazon to the Pantanal, the environmental heritage of all Brazilians is being reduced to ashes," Christiane Mazzetti of Greenpeace in a statement.

"The is a consequence of the policy of the Bolsonaro government, which despite the predictions of drought in the Pantanal, has not used the necessary means of fire protection," she said.

The situation in the Pantanal, straddling Brazil, Paraguay and Bolivia, has been exacerbated by the worst drought in half a century.

52
51
blogger sharing button blogger
buffer sharing button buffer
diaspora sharing button diaspora
digg sharing button digg
douban sharing button douban
email sharing button email
evernote sharing button evernote
flipboard sharing button flipboard
pocket sharing button getpocket
github sharing button github
gmail sharing button gmail
googlebookmarks sharing button googlebookmarks
hackernews sharing button hackernews
instapaper sharing button instapaper
line sharing button line
linkedin sharing button linkedin
livejournal sharing button livejournal
mailru sharing button mailru
medium sharing button medium
meneame sharing button meneame
messenger sharing button messenger
odnoklassniki sharing button odnoklassniki
pinterest sharing button pinterest
print sharing button print
qzone sharing button qzone
reddit sharing button reddit
refind sharing button refind
renren sharing button renren
skype sharing button skype
snapchat sharing button snapchat
surfingbird sharing button surfingbird
telegram sharing button telegram
tumblr sharing button tumblr
twitter sharing button twitter
vk sharing button vk
wechat sharing button wechat
weibo sharing button weibo
whatsapp sharing button whatsapp
wordpress sharing button wordpress
xing sharing button xing
yahoomail sharing button yahoomail