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Brazil government launches probe in Amazon Rainforest Fire; Concerns grow over impact on environment

Berlin, August 23: Brazil’s federal prosecutors have said they will probe a spike in wildfires and deforestation raging in Amazon province of Para in order to check whether there has been decreased environmental protection and monitoring.

According to Al-Jazeera, the probe declared by Para’s prosecution office follows a surge in blaze and destruction of Amazon forest that specialists blame on low protection system of environment under President Jair Bolsonaro.

United Nations (UN) secretary-general Antonio Guterres has on Thursday said he was “deeply concerned” after viewing drone images of Amazon burning that encouraged global outrage.

“In the midst of the global crisis, we cannot afford more damage to a major source of oxygen and biodiversity,” Guterres said on his official Twitter handle, in reference to the Amazon rainforest – often referred to as the “lungs of the planet”. “The Amazon must be protected,” he said.

Brazilian President Bolsonaro has said his administration has no resources to struggle the wildfires. However, his comments came weeks after he stated he didn’t need money from donor nations who have recently withdrawn fundings over his policies.

On Wednesday, Bolsonaro has said non-governmental outfits were behind this outrage, though didn’t offer any shred of evidence.

When questioned over his statement, he said he was not sure the NGOs, whose fundings he had chut short, were behind this outrage but claimed they were “most likely suspects”, yet again without offering any evidence to support his claim.

For the first, he acknowledged on Thursday farmers might be behind these wide-spread fires in Amazon.

“NGOs working in the Amazon do not use fire in farming. On the contrary, they encourage rural communities to avoid fire,” said Climate scientist Carlos Nobre, a senior researcher at the Institute for Advanced Studies of Sao Paulo University.

French President Emmanuel Macron on Thursday said the wildfires depicts an “international crisis”, calling to address the issue at the G7 summit scheduled to take place this weekend.

He tweeted: “Our house is burning. Literally. The Amazon rainforest – the lungs which produce 20 percent of our planet’s oxygen – is on fire. It is an international crisis. Members of the G7 Summit, let’s discuss this emergency first order in two days!”

Earlier this month, Germany and Norway halted funding for programme aimed at curbing deforestation in Brazil.

When questioned over the loss the nation is facing at that time, Bolsonaro said, “Brazil does not need that.”

Latin America’s Bishops Conference expressed deep concern over what they termed “a tragedy”, calling on nations on Thursday to pursue immediate actions to safe gaurd the Amazon Rainforest and those communities living nearby.

“We urge the governments of the Amazon countries, especially Brazil and Bolivia, the United Nations and the international community to take serious measures to save the world’s lungs,” the Bishops Conference said.

“If the Amazon suffers, the world suffers,” the statement said.

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