Amazon ‘Condemned To Destruction’ As Fires Rage Across Brazil

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Amazon 'Condemned To Destruction' As Fires Rage Across BrazilPA Images

The Amazon has been described as being ‘condemned to destruction’ as the rainforest undergoes a repeat of last year’s devastating fires, with experts saying these could be worse.

Despite the Brazilian government banning fires in the Amazon in mid-July, there were more that month than in July 2019. According to Brazil’s National Institute for Space Research (INPE), there were 6,803 fires in July compared to 5,318 blazes in 2019.


The fires continued to worsen into August, with the INPE detecting more than 7,600 fires in Amazonas – one of nine states making up the Brazilian Amazon. This marked the highest number of fires in 22 years as well as being almost 1,000 more than last year’s fires. Across the whole of the Amazon rainforest, 29,307 fires were detected.

Niamh Shackleton

Since Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro took office 20 months ago, many fear that he is steering the country into environment ruin, as per The Guardian. Since then, deforestation has been on the increase, with a nearly 30% increase in the number of fires compared to 2018.

As per CNN, the Bolsonaro administration has been under pressure for two months now, following several major international investors threatening to withdraw their investments from Brazilian companies if the ongoing destruction of the rainforest wasn’t tackled. It was only then that the government issued the fire ban on July 16.


One former official from the Brazilian Institute of the Environment and Renewable Natural Resources (IBAMA) told The Guardian, ‘The Amazon is condemned to destruction. Under this government there will be no combating [of deforestation].’ They added that the ‘future looks dark’ for the the Amazon.

PA Images

Rômulo Batista, a Greenpeace campaigner in Manaus, the capital of Amazonas, also expressed serious concerns for the rainforest. During a recent surveillance flight, he saw at first hand the devastating state the rainforest is currently in.

He 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.

Despite the evident crisis, Brazil’s environment minister announced last week that all anti-deforestation operations were to be halted. Fortunately this decision was reversed after a public outcry.

If you have a story you want to tell, send it to UNILAD via [email protected]

Topics: News, Brazil, deforestation, Fires, Jair Bolsonaro, Now, rainforest, World News


The Guardian and 1 other
  1. The Guardian

    Amazon 'condemned to destruction' as fires proliferate across Brazil

  2. CNN

    Fires are raging in the Amazon, despite a Brazil government ban. The destruction could be worse than last summer

Niamh Shackleton
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