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Number of fires more than doubles in Brazil’s Pantanal

By: AP | Brasilia |

Revealed: July 27, 2020 8:52:09 am

On July 16, the Brazilian authorities issued a decree banning burning within the Pantanal wetlands and the Amazon forest for 4 months. (Reuters/File)

The variety of fires in Brazil’s Pantanal, the world’s largest tropical wetlands, greater than doubled within the first half of 2020 in comparison with the identical interval final yr, in keeping with information launched by a state institute.

Officers stated it was the biggest variety of fires in a six-month interval within the final twenty years.

The sharp improve in fires comes amid home and worldwide concern over Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro’s calls to clear land so as to drive financial improvement, and follows a surge in fires, many set to make land obtainable for farming and different trade, within the Amazon final yr.

There have been 2,534 recorded fires within the Pantanal between January and June, the Brazilian Nationwide Institute for Area Analysis stated. Between January and June 2019, the institute recorded 981 fires. The 2020 numbers symbolize a 158% improve than the 2019 numbers.

As of Saturday, the institute had registered one other 1,322 fires in July, for a complete of three,856 blazes within the wetlands that stretch by the states of Mato Grosso and Mato Grosso do Sul, in central-western Brazil.

Till the tip of final month, technicians from the institute estimated the full space of the Pantanal burned this yr at 1,969 sq. miles (5,100 km).

On July 16, the Brazilian authorities issued a decree banning burning within the Pantanal wetlands and the Amazon forest for 4 months. Nevertheless, within the Pantanal alone, 1,002 hearth spots have been recognized for the reason that decree got here into power.

Mato Grosso do Sul state has declared a state of environmental emergency.

It says the essential interval of seasonal forest fires is simply starting and cites excessive situations comparable to excessive temperatures, sturdy winds and low air humidity.

It additionally stated well being clinics across the state registered a rise of sufferers complaining about illnesses associated to air high quality, aggravating a well being system already coping with the COVID-19 disaster.

The Nationwide Institute for Area Analysis has reported practically 8,000 fires within the Amazon first half of the yr, and one other 3,326 in July. The numbers are nonetheless decrease than in 2019. Final yr, there have been 10,606 fires reported between January and June.

Bolsonaro defended his authorities’s environmental insurance policies final week and stated Brazil is the goal of a world marketing campaign to hurt its financial system. He stated different nations ought to deal with their very own issues.

“When some speak about reforestation, they might begin reforesting Europe to set an instance for us,” Bolsonaro stated.


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