World leaders have risen to condemn the non-stop fire that has ravaged the Amazon forests.
Fires in the Amazon have surged 83% so far this year compared with the same period a year earlier.
The controversy of the fire has been further worsened after Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro admitted farmers could be illegally setting the rainforest ablaze but told foreign powers not to interfere.
That posture has not found sympathetic ears across the world.
Finland, which holds the European Union’s rotating chairmanship, called for the EU to look into the possibility of banning Brazilian beef from its markets due to devastation caused by fires in the Amazon rainforest.
“Finance Minister Mika Lintila condemns the destruction of Amazon rainforests and suggests that the EU and Finland should urgently review the possibility of banning Brazilian beef imports,” Finland’s finance ministry said in a statement.
Next Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar has said Dublin will vote against a trade deal between the European Union and South American trade bloc Mercosur unless Brazil takes action to protect the rainforest.
“There is no way that Ireland will vote for the EU-Mercosur Free Trade Agreement if Brazil does not honour its environmental commitments,” he said.
For French President Emmanuel has suggested that the Amazon fire should be discussed at the G7 Summit.
Our house is burning. Literally. The Amazon rain forest – the lungs which produces 20% of our planet’s oxygen – is on fire. It is an international crisis. Members of the G7 Summit, let's discuss this emergency first order in two days! #ActForTheAmazon pic.twitter.com/dogOJj9big
— Emmanuel Macron (@EmmanuelMacron) August 22, 2019
The UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said the world must rise up and protect the Amazon.
I’m deeply concerned by the fires in the Amazon rainforest. In the midst of the global climate crisis, we cannot afford more damage to a major source of oxygen and biodiversity.
The Amazon must be protected.
— António Guterres (@antonioguterres) August 22, 2019
On its part, Germany has already taken serious action.
To this end, Berlin has blocked the payment of €35 million ($40 million) to Brazil for forest conservation and biodiversity programs until the Amazon’s rate of decline attained encouraging levels once again.
Brazilian president has shrugged this off, despite the picketing of Brazilian embassies around the world by angry conservationists and other environmental rights activists.
For now, the rest of the world watches, while the Amazon continues to burn.