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Local environmentalists concerned about Amazon forest fires

Local environmentalists have joined their counterparts around the world is raising alarm about the record number of  forest fires in the Amazon.

The Jamaica Environment Trust, (JET) has described it as a catastrophe  

The largest rainforest in the world - the Amazon is a vital carbon store that slows down the pace of  global warming.

It is known as the lungs of  the world and is home to about three million species of  plants and animals, and one million indigenous people.

CEO of  the Jamaica Environment Trust, Suzanne Stanley, says the negative effects of  the Amazon fires will be wide ranging and is concerned that small countries like Jamaica will be particularly affected.

“And when we are speaking about things like climate change and the impact that everyone in the world will experience from climate change.  A  catastrophic event of this nature which affects the atmosphere;s ability to function as it should - should be of great concern to everyone and I think this is evidence as seen in the outcry from all corners about this catastrophic event,” she said.  

Environmental groups held protests in cities across Brazil yesterday to demand action to combat the fires and protesters also gathered outside Brazilian embassies around the world.

 And Brazil's president has ordered the armed forces to help fight the forest fires in the Amazon. 

A decree issued by President Jair Bolsonaro authorises the deployment of  soldiers in nature reserves, indigenous lands and border areas in the region.

The announcement comes after intense pressure from European leaders.

Mr Bolsonaro has criticised the reaction of  other nations, insisting wildfires cannot be used as a pretext for punitive sanctions. 

It came after France and Ireland said they would not ratify a huge trade deal with South American nations unless Brazil does more to tackle blazes in the Amazon.

 

Finland's finance minister has also called for the EU to consider banning Brazilian beef  imports. 

Finland is currently president of  the Council of  the EU - a role which is rotated among member states every six months.



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