USA

Brazil celebrates Amazon Day as rainforests continue to burn

Brasília, Brazil - Despite a ban on slash-and-burn agriculture and a massive military operation, the Amazon rainforest is going up in smoke, as Brazil celebrates its national Amazon Day. 

An official of the state environmental authority IBAMA inspects an area that was destroyed by fire.
An official of the state environmental authority IBAMA inspects an area that was destroyed by fire.  © Andre Penner/AP/dpa

In the first days of September alone, Brazil's National Institute for Space Research (INPE) registered around 1,000 fires in the Brazilian Amazon region. 

The fires were still surging on Saturday as Brazil celebrated Amazon Day, the annual commemoration of Prince Pedro II's founding of the Amazonas state in 1850.

"Although slash-and-burn agriculture is officially banned at the moment, it continues unabated. Environmental authorities have been disempowered and police authorities don't monitor so violations have no consequences," Juliana Miyazaki of the Society for Threatened Peoples said.

"Illegal clearing causes the most forest fires. They deforest the land, they wait for the wood to dry, and then they start a fire. This way, new land becomes available for economic activities such as agribusiness," Miyazaki said.

Increasingly, environmentalists and indigenous tribes are working together to fight the systematic destruction of Brazil's complex ecosystems.

Fires are surging in the Amazon region.
Fires are surging in the Amazon region.  © Andre Penner/AP/dpa
The image provided by the Brazilian president's office shows Jair Bolsonaro at a meeting with supporters in El Dorado.
The image provided by the Brazilian president's office shows Jair Bolsonaro at a meeting with supporters in El Dorado.  © Carolina Antunes/Palacio Planalto/dpa

President Jair Bolsonaro has faced repeated international criticism over the widespread wildfires surging in the Amazon rainforest. But the increasing pressure hasn't stopped him from pursuing the exploitation of natural resources in the Amazonas region.

Cover photo: Andre Penner/AP/dpa

More on the topic World:


WhatsApp Our WhatsApp +49 160 - 24 24 24 0