Sunday, 22 September, 2019

H&M halts leather sourcing from Amazon as corporate backlash over fires continues

Brazil has deployed troops fight several major blazes in the rainforest but continues to refuse international support. Wire Brazil has deployed troops fight several major blazes in the rainforest but continues to refuse international support. Wire
Sandra Phillips | 11 September, 2019, 14:46

Researchers have detected nearly 50,000 fires in the Amazon region this year, the highest number in a decade. More than 5,000 fires have occurred in the Amazon forests this year. It came after the agency released data showing a 6 percent increase in deforestation in June compared to the same period past year.

While researchers have not come to a consensus on a singular cause for the fires, a significant portion of the fires can be traced back to mass forest clearing by loggers and cattle ranchers. He stressed: "The Brazilian Amazon is ours". Brazil's far-right President Jair Bolsonaro took part by videolink because he was preparing for surgery. This, among other policies created to relax restrictions on illegal logging and exploitation of the Amazon has earned Bolsonaro the somewhat self-endowed nickname, "Captain Chainsaw".

The Amazon, as the world's largest tropical rainforest, is one of the most important sources of carbon capture, which slows global warming.

According to the opposition, loggers and farmers have also intensified their destructive activities in the Amazonian region under the protection of the Bolsonaro administration.

Brazil used to be represented by Foreign Minister Ernesto Araujo. Bolsonaro himself openly mocked environmental organizations and accused the INEP, Brazil's institute for space research, of faking climate data.

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Late a year ago, he pushed for Brazil to withdraw its offer to host the United Nations' climate conference and he has also emphatically refused offers of aid from other countries to help fight the blazes.

Nonetheless, speaking by videoconference, he entreated different leaders to withstand calls, spearheaded by French President Emmanuel Macron, to internationalize security of the Amazon.

"Macron can't even prevent a foreseeable fire in a church that is a world heritage site", Lorenzoni zinged. "What does he intend to teach our country?" said Bolsonaro's chief of staff, Onyx Lorensoni, in reference to the fire that destroyed the Notre Dame cathedral in April.

"I do not confuse current leaders and the reality of Brazil", he added.

Last week, the Brazilian President signed an executive order forbidding fires during the dry season in the Amazon. Previous Brazilian governments have managed to reduce deforestation over the past decade.

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