Brazilian president to send army to fight Amazon fire 1 year ago

Brazilian president to send army to fight Amazon fire

The Amazon continues to burn.

Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro has said he will mobilise his military in an attempt to extinguish the wildfire that has been raging through the Amazon for weeks.

Bolsonaro has come under major scrutiny for his approach to the rainforest fire, having claimed that NGOs who want more government funding had set the fires. He provided no evidence to substantiate these claims.

On Friday, several EU leaders including Leo Varadkar and Emmanuel Macron, had threatened to tear up a trade deal with Brazil unless action was taken with regard to the raging Amazon fires.

"There is no way that Ireland will vote for the EU-Mercosur free trade agreement if Brazil does not honour its environmental commitments," Mr Varadkar said on Thursday night.

Many consider Bolsonaro's own policy to be responsible for the fires. While running for office, Bolsonaro had promised to allow for further deforestation of the rainforest.

Forest fires have increased by 83% this year. The rainforest produces 20% of the world's oxygen, and is considered to be vital in any attempt to counter the effects of global warming.

Marina Silva, a former Minister for the Environment in Brazil, said of Bolsonaro: "Bolsonaro won the election with his anti-environment, anti-human rights and anti-indigenous discourse and on taking office he has transformed these words into deeds. These policies cannot be allowed to prosper."