Protests Break Out Against Brazil’s Policies on Amazon Rainforest
Demonstrators marched through the streets of Rio de Janeiro on 5 September, to protest against the Brazilian government's policies on the Amazon rainforest.
The "Fight for the Amazon" march came amid growing international criticism and concern over the number of wildfires in the vast Amazon region.
The protesters included performers on stilts, blowing fire. One demonstrator even clutched a fake chainsaw and wore a mask featuring the image of Brazil's president Jair Bolsonaro.
“What we do not accept is the official discourse from Brazil that underestimates the importance of the environment. We realise today that the environmental issue is not exclusive to each country, it’s a global issue. The events that follow the environmental destruction won’t be restricted to Brazil. They’re climatic events that affect the whole world.”André Barbosa, Union Leader
President Bolsonaro has blamed environmental regulations for impeding the country's economic growth. He has sent the military to help battle some of the fires and issued a decree banning most fires for land-clearing for a period of 60 days. The Brazilian army continues to patrol one of the devastated areas in Altamira, searching for fires, illegal miners and loggers.
However, critics say at least some of the fires were started deliberately to clear parts of the rainforest for development.
In the first eight months of this year, there were almost 100,000 forest fires in Brazil, up more than half from the same period in 2018.
(With inputs from AP)
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