National & International

Fires in Brazil’s Amazon region

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Brazil’s official data revealed a major rise in the number of fires in the Amazon region in July relative to the same month last year.

President Jair Bolsonaro encouraged agricultural and mining activities within the Amazon.

Under pressure from international investors, his government banned starting fires in the region.

There were over 6,803 fires during July.

The latest figures raise questions about the recurrence of the massive wildfires that stunned the world in August and September of last year.

Mr Bolsonaro blamed Brazil’s environmental protection agency, Ibama, for what he described as disproportionate fines, and his first year in office saw a sharp reduction in financial penalties for environmental infringements.

The Department is simply underfunded and under-staffed.

“We can expect that August will already be a difficult month and September will be worse yet.”

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