A blanket of thick black smoke have gripped Brazil’s largest city, Sao Paulo, in the past week. The source of the smoke is 2,700 kilometres away in the Amazons. World’s largest rainforest, Amazon is on fire for more than three weeks now. The incessant wildfires have wiped out vegetation in hundreds of hectares.
Increase In Wildfires
Wildfires in Amazon are not an uncommon phenomenon. But the percentage increase in the number of fires this year is something to worry about. According to the National Institute for Space Research (INPE) data, there have been 73,000 instances of wildfires from January to August 2019, the BBC reported. This is an 83 per cent increase in a number of wildfires compared to the same period in 2018.
Since August 15, 9,500 new forest fires have started across Brazil.
President Washes His Hands Of Wildfires
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, who took over in January 2019 has been criticised by the environmentalist for putting development above the natural conservation. According to media reports, the deforestation rate has increased at an alarming rate in his tenure.
Bolsonaro is said to have encouraged farmers to clear-out lands to support the agenda of ‘development’. Ricardo Mello, head of the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) Amazon Programme, said the fires were “a consequence of the increase in deforestation seen in recent figures”.
Bolsonaro has been consistently denying the allegations of encouraging deforestation and recently sacked National Institute for Space Research head for his reports after the agency reported an increase in deforestations in June and July 2019 compared to 2018.
Even at a time when the Brazilian government is facing criticism from around the world, the President is blaming NGOs for fires. In a Facebook live on Wednesday the President said, “So, there could be…, I’m not affirming it, criminal action by these ‘NGOers’ to call attention against my person, against the government of Brazil. This is the war that we are facing.”
Lungs Of Earth
Contributing to almost 20 per cent of the oxygen to the Earth’s atmosphere, the Amazon jungles are known as the ‘lungs of the Earth’. It is also home to 30 lakh plants and animal species and around 10 lakh indigenous people.
The forest is also a source of around 10 percent of the total carbon content in the ecosystem. The amount of carbon released by its continuous burning will accelerate global warming.
The Lungs Of Earth, Amazon Rain Forest Is On Fire, But Should We Be Worried?
The largest rainforest in the world, Amazon is burning at a rate of a football field every single minute. The Amazon basin provides 20% of the oxygen in the planet’s atmosphere and is one of the world’s largest sources of oxygen. Know why it is important #In2MinutesUnited Nations United Nations Development Programme – UNDP UN Environment #AmazonFire #AmazonForest
The Logical Indian ಅವರಿಂದ ಈ ದಿನದಂದು ಪೋಸ್ಟ್ ಮಾಡಲಾಗಿದೆ ಗುರುವಾರ, ಆಗಸ್ಟ್ 22, 2019
Also Read: In Last Five Years, Environmental Ministry Permitted Chopping Off 1.09 Crore Trees For ‘Development’