Amazon Rainforest 'Condemned To Destruction' With Fires Increasing Rapidly
With the fires in the Amazon continuing to burn, many fear the rainforest is heading for a 'dark' future.
Last year, the area was hit by catastrophic wildfires so severe that Brazil saw a huge spike in spike in children in Brazil being treated for respiratory problems caused by the smoke - which also grew so thick that it blocked out the sun in some parts.
However, things haven't been much better this year - on the contrary. With more than 10,000 fires sighted in the first 10 days of August this year, the Amazon has suffered the worst start to a fire season in a decade.
The rainforest continues to be ravaged by the flames, with official figures released on Tuesday (1 September) showing that the number of fires are nearing the crisis levels of 2019, according to AFP, and have been the second-highest in a decade for August.
Now people believe more needs to be done by leaders, with a former top official at Brazilian environmental agency Ibama telling the Guardian: "The Amazon is condemned to destruction."
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The ex-official accused the country's far-right leader Jair Bolsonaro - who is also a climate-change skeptic - of overseeing a wholesale 'demolition' of efforts to protect the rainforest, adding: "Under this government there will be no combating [of rainforest destruction]. The future looks dark."
Greenpeace has calculated that there has only been an eight percent reduction in fires between mid-July and mid-August compared with last year, despite military mobilisation and a burning ban.
Speaking to the Guardian, Rômulo Batista, a Greenpeace campaigner in Manaus, the capital of Amazonas, said: "We are watching last year's tragedy repeat itself."
Describing a recent surveillance flight over several Amazon states - Amazonas, Mato Grosso, Rondônia and Pará - Batista said: "We saw tracts of pasture that were burning, deforested areas that were burning, areas of forest that were burning. And it was obvious that down there in the forest below us nobody was staying at home [because of coronavirus].
"Everyone - illegal loggers, land grabbers, illegal miners - they're all up and running, and even more so than usual, safe in the knowledge that government inspections have been scaled back because of the pandemic."
Featured Image Credit: PA
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