The Brazil Army has now been dispatched by President Bolsonaro to tackle the Amazon fires, which continue to grow out of control.
President Jair Bolsonaro has sent out soldiers into the Amazon forest to target areas affected by fires. Defence Minister Fernando Azevedo e Silva will oversee the order and allocate resources. The army dispatch has initially been ordered for a month from 24 August to 24 September.
Previously, the President left the deployment of the Brazil army for the Amazon fires up to regional governors, saying they could request “preventive action… against environmental crimes”.
The fires have been started deliberately by farmers in order to clear land for cattle ranching. However, the scale this year is much beyond what was seen previously.
The flames are currently eating up three football fields per minute. The remedial action has come after international pressure on Brazil. Countries like France, Ireland and Finland threatened to cut off economic ties if the President did not act against the fires. German Chancellor Angela Merkel called it an “acute emergency” and French President Emmanuel Macron tweeted, “Our house is burning.”
On Friday, Bolsonaro said in an address, “I’ve learned as a military man to love the Amazon forest and I want to help protect it.” However, he also said that fires “exist in the whole world” and “cannot serve as a pretext for possible international sanctions”.
Environmental groups protested across Brazil on Friday to demand action against the fires by the government. The Amazon is home to a carbon store that is a defence against global warming. Additionally, it is home to 3 million animal species and 1 million people.
The issue of the Amazon fires was discussed internationally at the G7 summit in Biarritz.
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