Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has dispatched military to deal with the raging fires in the Amazon rainforest. The move has come after receiving pressure from not only environmentalists and social media users across the globe but from other nations as well.
Environmental groups have been protesting in cities across Brazil demanding action. In other countries, protesters gathered outside the Brazilian embassies.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Emmanuel Macron and UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said that it is an international crisis. Angela Merkel and Emmanuel Macron tweeted that it must be discussed in the G7 summit in Biarritz that is scheduled on Saturday.
Also read: Amazon Rainforests Endure Massive Fire
Brazil usually faces wildfire at this time of the year due to the hot, dry season and high winds. But National Institute for Space Research's satellite data shows an increase of 85% wildfire across Brazil in 2019. The president had ignored the data saying that it is the season of "queimada" - when farmers burn the land to clear it for farming. But reports say that the number of fires is not matching with those in previous years.
President Jair Bolsonaro has been accused of siding with miners and loggers. He had previously disregarded environmental activists and deliberately supported clearing the areas of Amazon for agriculture and mining.
He, in a televised address on Friday, said that fires exist in the whole world and cannot serve as a pretext for international sanctions. However, he added that he had authorised the armed forces to help in fighting the fires. The president further said he is a military man and loved the Amazon forest and want to protect it.
The Amazon - known as the lungs of the world produced 20% of the oxygen and it has been burning for almost three weeks.
Many countries had threatened to make moves that will harm the economy if the resources weren't directed to stop the fires.
France and Ireland said that hey will not give consent to a trade deal with South American nations. Finland also approached the European Union to consider banning beef imports from Brazil.