Brazil to reject G7 offer of $22m aid

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The Brazilian government has said it will reject an offer of aid from G7 countries to help tackle fires in the Amazon rainforest.

French President Emmanuel Macron, who hosted a G7 summit that ended on Monday, said $22m (£18m) would be released.

But Foreign minister Ernesto Araujo has said a new initiative was not needed, because international mechanisms were in place to fight deforestation.

The Defence Minister said the fires in the Amazon were not out of control.

The rejection
President Jair Bolsonaro has accused France of treating Brazil like a colony.

Commenting on the G7 offer of aid, Mr Bolsonaro’s chief of staff, Onyx Lorenzoni, told reporters “Thanks, but maybe those resources are more relevant to reforest Europe.”

“Macron cannot even avoid a predictable fire in a church that is part of the world’s heritage, and he wants to give us lessons for our country?” Mr Lorenzoni stated, in a reference to the fire that hit Notre-Dame cathedral in Paris in April.

He also said Brazil could teach “any nation” how to protect native forests.

Mr Araujo says there are already mechanisms under the backing of the UN climate convention to fight deforestation.

“Efforts of some political currents to extrapolate real environmental issues into a fabricated ‘crisis’ as a pretext for introducing mechanisms for external control of the Amazon are very evident,” he said.

A record number of fires are burning in Brazil, mostly in the Amazon, according to the country’s space research agency; President Macron last week described the fires as an “international crisis.”

 

Christopher Ojilere