Published: Sat, August 31, 2019
Sci-tech | By Patricia Wade

Brazil bans legal land-clearing fires in wake of Amazon wildfires

Brazil bans legal land-clearing fires in wake of Amazon wildfires

The official decree prohibiting the fires was published Thursday following worldwide criticism of President Jair Bolsonaro's handling of the environmental crisis.

But activists quickly doused hopes that the ban would work.

Thousands of troops and firefighters, along with aircraft, have been deployed since the weekend, and the defence ministry says the fires are under control.

The latest official figures show 1,044 new fires were started Monday and Tuesday, more than half in the Amazon basin, bringing the total to 83,329 this year, the highest since 2010.

- Pray for Bolsonaro, the Amazon forests and the people most affected by the fires.

Bolsonaro claimed in a live broadcast on Facebook on Thursday that 'this year's fires are below the average of recent years'.

United Nations chief Antonio Guterres on Thursday mooted a meeting of key countries to drum up support to tackle the fires that have also devastated swaths of Bolivia.

'I think we're on the same page, the governments are on the same page, ' Araujo told reporters, explaining that this means pushing back against what he said was interference in Brazil's affairs by foreign governments concerned over the rainforest's future. VF Corp VFC.N will no longer buy Brazilian leather, it said in a statement.

That's almost double the number for the same period past year.

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Emmanuel Macron may not technically be a celebrity, but he tweets like one. Bolsonaro's critics say the president's development policy is responsible for the spread of wildfires.

Bolsonaro said Brazil would accept bilateral aid to fight the fires, raising doubts over whether the country would take up the offer from the G7, which consists of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Britain and the US.

It isn't as though Brazil, which contains 60 percent of the Amazon rainforest, or other countries with smaller holdings suffer the impact of such destruction in isolation.

Following a meeting with Paraguayan president Mario Abdo later on Wednesday, Chile's Pinera spoke of the need to build out region-wide infrastructure to fight increasingly prevalent forest-fires in South America.

He said he would not speak with the French government until it "has recanted what it said about my person, which represents Brazil", making reference to Macron's accusing him of lying to him about his commitments on fighting climate change.

"I think Bolsonaro is causing enormous harm to the Brazilian people, a little out of evil and a little out of ignorance", former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva told the BBC from jail where he is serving nearly nine years for corruption.

"Germany and in particular France are buying our sovereignty", Bolsonaro told reporters, adding that Brazil's sovereignty had "no price, not even $20 trillion".

In the hard-hit northwestern state of Rondonia, thick smoke has choked the capital Porto Velho as fires blacken swaths of the rainforest.

The ministers said Brazil should accept worldwide aid to fight the fires and accused Bolsonaro's government of dismantling environmental institutions. Numerous fires burning were initially set by cattle ranchers or farmers in a bid to clear land.

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