The amount of fires in the rainforest rose about 20% last month. Experts in the country warn of widespread deforestation, blaming President Bolsonaro's lax environmental policy. There is concern that the smoke will worsen the condition of corona patients: "will cause longer cases with more symptoms"

The number of fires in the Amazon rainforest in Brazil increased by 20% during June - government figures released on Wednesday show. It was the month with the most fires in the forest in 13 years. Investigators fear it could be a sign of a return to the country's huge fires last year. Health experts are also concerned about the smoke, which usually covers the area during the dry season and causes breathing problems, which can also cause complications in Corona patients.

In June, the Brazilian Government Space Research Agency detected 2,248 fires in the Amazon rainforest, compared to June 1,880 in 2019. However, the current fires pale in comparison to those seen last August and sparked outcry worldwide that Brazil has not done enough to protect the world's largest rainforest.

Last June, there were an average of 75 fires a day in the Amazon, compared to nearly 1,000 a day when the number of fires peaked in August 2019.

Philip Firenside, an ecologist at the Amazon National Research Institute, said: "It's a bad sign, but what really matters is what's going to happen from now on." He added that widespread deforestation is a more worrying sign, since fires are usually directed to clear the land after cutting down trees.

Government research data shows that in the first five months of the year, there was a 34% increase in deforestation in the state compared to last year.

Firenside said the increase in destruction was due to tighter environmental enforcement under state president Jair Bolesonaro, who called for more agriculture and mining activities in protected areas of the Amazon, defending himself by saying Brazil had retained most of the rainforest.
Bolsonaro deployed armed forces to defend the Amazon in May, as he did in August last year. Despite this, there was a 12% increase in deforestation in May compared to the previous year - a trend that increased in June.

The Amazon Environmental Research Institute (IPAM), a Brazilian NGO, predicts that at the current rate of deforestation, by the end of July, 9,000 square kilometers will have been mined but not burned since early 2019, when Bolsonaro took office.

An Environmental Research Institute report released earlier this month shows these areas are in danger of arson when compared to 5,539 square miles of forest mined and burned between January 2019 and April 2020. Meanwhile, Amazon communities are preparing for smoke that covers the area during the fire season, Which is usually at its peak between August and November.

Gilharma Pivoto, an Amazon air pollution expert, said worsening air quality as a result of the fires could exacerbate the Corona disease. He said that "for those infected with the virus there is a high chance of combining the infection with Corona, which will result in more prolonged cases with more symptoms."

Source: International News Agencies

Post a Comment

Previous Post Next Post