THE AMAZON IS BURNING: Forest fires in Brazil surge as deforestation accelerates

By: Agence France Presse - Inquirer.net | August 22,2019 - 08:36 AM

The number of forest fires in Brazil surged in the first eight months of 2019, official data show, as President Jair Bolsonaro faces growing criticism over rampant destruction of the Amazon.

Nearly 73,000 fires were recorded between January and August, compared with 39,759 in all of 2018, the embattled National Institute for Space Research (INPE) said late Monday.

That is the highest number of forest fires for any year since 2013 and follows two years of declines.

“What we are seeing is a consequence of the increase in deforestation seen in recent figures,” said Ricardo Mello of WWF’s Amazon Program.

Forest fires tend to intensify during the dry season, which usually ends in late October or early November, as land is cleared to make way for crops or grazing.

The INPE figures show fires have been concentrated in states occupying the Amazon.

Thick smoke has blanketed several cities in recent days and even caused a commercial flight to be diverted.

The data comes as Bolsonaro faces growing criticism over his anti-environment rhetoric, which activists blame for emboldening loggers, miners and farmers in the Amazon.

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The AMAZON RAINFOREST has been burning for 3 weeks…. We are on the verge of losing it completely if the fire isn’t put out soon! The loss of trees, the loss of biodiversity is what is accelerating climate change…and yet nobody is saying a word. Nobody is doing anything for our largest rainforest in the world. Nobody is doing anything for some of the most beautiful people in the world, nobody is doing anything for the incredible animals there either! Mother Nature is angry with us…so we all need to wake up ASAP before we suffer some major consequences due to our irresponsible behavior and inaction so spreading awareness to everyone RIGHT NOW is crucial to saving the rainforest from destruction! News/media outlets are quick to cover political controversy and negative stories, but won’t talk about this urgent issue so we must all use our social media platforms and send them this post and when they get enough emails, DMs and messages about this story they will be FORCED to cover it and then the world will finally see what’s happening RIGHT NOW! Please share this post with any news media you follow and with all your followers and tell them to share it too…let’s all do what we can to get the word out ASAP and it’s also important to pray for Brazil too 🇧🇷 WE MUST SAVE THE RAINFOREST BY WORKING TOGETHER! @karmagawa @balubluefoundation @savethereef

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Norway on Thursday joined Germany in halting Amazon protection subsidies, accusing Brazil of turning its back on the fight against deforestation.

The governors of nine states spanning the Amazon also published a statement on Sunday saying they would negotiate directly with the Amazon Fund contributors.

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There was worldwide outcry when the Notre Dame cathedral was on fire. Why is there not the same level of outrage for the fires destroying the #AmazonRainforest? . **UPDATE** We’re all outraged and heartbroken by what’s happening, and it’s easy to feel powerless, but there are things YOU can do. 👇 . 1. Show your outrage. Add this post to your story, keep sharing updates, tag friends, family and influencers. The more voices we have, the louder our call. . 2. Educate yourself. The more you know about the crisis that’s happening, the more that can be done. . 3. Think about the things you eat. Food production is the leading cause of deforestation, as land is being cleared to rear livestock, and to grow feed for livestock. Less demand means less deforestation. . 4. Sign our petition calling on world leaders to put this issue at the top of their agenda. (Link in bio) . 5. Donate to our emergency Amazon appeal. (Link in bio) . #FightForYourWorld #Deforestation #ClimateCrisis #Rainforest #Amazon #ActForTheAmazon

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The latest INPE figures coincide with a UN regional meeting on climate change in Brazil ahead of December’s summit in Chile.

INPE is already in Bolsonaro’s crosshairs over data showing a surge in deforestation in recent months.

Bolsonaro dismissed the figures as lies and sacked the head of the agency tasked with tracking forest clearing.

Brazil leads the region in forest fires this year, according to the INPE data that is collected via satellite and updated in real time.

Venezuela ranked second with 26,453 fires and Bolivia with 16,101.

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