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22 August 2019

AIDA expresses deep concern about the grave situation confronting the Amazon, which is being ravaged by a large number of fires in Brazil and other Amazonian countries.

The consequences of these fires are devastating for the biodiversity of the area and for the communities that inhabit it, but also for the planet, which is facing a climate crisis that requires increasingly urgent and effective actions.

The Amazon holds 20% of the Earth's unfrozen fresh water and is home to a quarter of the world's species. In addition, the Amazon jungle releases about 20% of the oxygen we breathe and stores 90 to 140 billion tons of carbon dioxide, regulating the global climate. The international scientific community has emphatically pointed out that the destruction of tropical forests causes 20% of greenhouse gas emissions.

For this reason, the Amazon ecosystem is vital for mitigating the climate crisis. The current fires demonstrate that the Amazon is now more vulnerable than before due to a combination of factors, including increased droughts, deforestation, unsustainable use of soil and subsoil, and the increase in global temperatures.

The record number of fires in the Amazon rainforest aggravates the climate crisis and with it the threat of increasingly harmful natural disasters.

The policies, rhetoric and actions of Jair Bolsonaro's government have the same impact, actively dismantling due protection of the Amazon and its indigenous peoples. They irresponsibly promote the expansion of the agricultural, livestock and extractive frontier in the Amazon, resulting in increased deforestation and the consequences we are witnessing today.

This worrying trend is repeated in the rest of the countries called upon to protect the Amazon basin—Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia and Venezuela—whose governments also have not done enough to preserve the Amazon.

AIDA urges the governments of the Amazon basin to adopt urgent measures to stop the fires. In addition, we call on citizens and the international community to pressure the governments of Brazil and the other countries of the region to reverse course and effectively protect the Amazon, its biodiversity, and the people who depend on it.

We demand that governments take concrete actions to:

  • Strengthen institutions and environmental norms,
  • Immediately suspend rhetoric that encourages deforestation and the destruction of the Amazon,
  • Stop the indiscriminate expansion of the agricultural, livestock and extractive frontier in the area,
  • Adopt proper land use and planning,
  • Ensure the existence and restoration of ecosystem life cycles, and
  • Control deforestation and conserve the Amazon with the financial and technical support of multilateral international cooperation.

 

Learn more about our work in the Amazon.


PRESS CONTACT:

Victor Quintanilla (México), vquintanilla@aida-americas.org, +5215570522107