Vancouverites raise concerns over Amazon fires

Vancouverites raise concerns over Amazon fires

Bolsonaro added that he could not accept Macron's "intentions behind the idea of an "alliance" of the G7 countries to "save" the Amazon, as if we were a colony or no man's land".

Brazil's efforts to control the fires appear to be concentrated in the Amazonian state of Rondonia, which borders Bolivia. Some 1,663 new fires were ignited between Thursday and Friday, according to Brazil's National Institute for Space Research (INPE).

"No (Brazilian) democratic government has suffered such global criticism as Bolsonaro is going through", said Mauricio Santoro, an worldwide relations professor at Rio de Janeiro State University.

G7 members also agreed to support a medium-term reforestation plan which will be unveiled at the United Nations in September, Macron and Chile's Sebastian Pinera said at the summit in southwest France.

Brazil has 44,000 troops stationed in its northern Amazon region that are available to combat forest fires and could send more from elsewhere in the country, said Raul Botelho, the joint chief of staff for the country's military.

Critics say the large number of fires this year has been stoked by Bolsonaro's encouragement of farmers, loggers and ranchers to speed efforts to strip away forest. As announced by defense ministry, strong measures are being taken and the military is planning operations to assist firefighting initiatives. Later, he accused in a video posted on Twitter that NGOs are plotting against him and purposely setting fire to the Amazon.

Environment Minister Ricardo Salles posted a video showing a caravan of yellow fire prevention trucks and other government vehicles, saying they were on the ground responding in Rondonia.

Monday's agreement was reached following a summit work session focused on climate, oceans and biodiversity - a session that U.S. President Donald Trump missed in order to attend one-on-one meetings with other leaders, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Macron said on Sunday world powers needed to be ready to help with reforestation, but acknowledged there were different views over this aspect, without going into details.

Clément Sénéchal of Greenpeace France said: "No global vision on the struggle against climate change came out of this summit of the world's most powerful heads of state".

The Amazon, which provides 20% of the planet's oxygen, is home to an estimated one million indigenous people from up to 500 tribes as well some three million species of plants and animals, including jaguars, sloths, giant otters, river dolphins, howler monkeys, toucans, reptiles, frogs and insects.

VATICAN CITY (AP) - Pope Francis said Sunday that the Amazon forest is vital for our Earth and is urging prayers that fires there are quickly controlled.



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