So far in 2019, 144,300 forest fires have been detected via staellite on Brazilian soil, according to the Queimadas website of the National Institute of Special Investigations of Brazil.
The figure represents an increase of around 50% compared to 2018, a year which ended with 94,504 incidents of this kind.
The most affected region is the State of Amazonia. The government there, led by the Social Christian Party, claimed the trend between January and January was positive, with only 1,700 “heat focuses”, compared to the 2,220 of 2016 and the 1,780 of 2016.
The observation from outside indicates that 2019 has been a year of a growing deforestation in the country. Specifically, the Global Forest Watch Fires and the NASA say that there has been a 39% increase in forest fires alerts in the first eight months of 2019, compared to year before – 269,000 vs 220,100.
Active fires in Brazil, on October 1, 2019. /Queimadas, INPE
“The Amazon is not being devastated by fire, as some lying media are saying”, said Jair Bolsonaro, the President of Brazil, at the United Nations assembly this month in New York. The chief of the Brazilian executive has maintained a diplomatic conflict in the last weeks with French President Emmanuel Macron, who said on social media that “the forest of the Amazon, the lung that produces 20% of the oxygen of our planet, is on fire”.
“It is an international crisis”, the leader of the Elysium during the G7 summit celebrated in August in Biarritz. France approved a 22 million dollars aid fund for the Amazonia.
The words of Macron outraged Bolsonaro, who demanded an apology before accepting the aid, and qualified the attitude of the president of France as “neocolonial”.
“Sadly, in Brazil we are living a period of political polarisation”, the executive director of the Brazilian Evangelical Alliance, Beto Barros told Spanish news website Protestante Digital. “The government we have now assumed the commitment of attacking corruption in all the areas of the coutnry and, in the Amazonia region, there are many complicated economic interests implied, because there are many riches on the ground and underground. The government is revealing those interests. This has annoyed people, politicians, NGOs and national and international companies”.