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    An aerial view of a deforested plot of the Amazon near Humaita, Amazonas State, Brazil August 22, 2019

    Brazilian Military Ready to Defend Amazon Forest Amid Wildfires - Chief of Armed Forces

    © REUTERS / Ueslei Marcelino
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    Earlier on Friday, Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro said that the army could be sent in to help combat fires in the Amazon.

    The Brazilian military is ready to defend the Amazon amid wildfires, the country's chief of armed forces said, as quoted by Reuters.   

    The President of Brazil, Jair Bolsonaro, has been criticised over what some foreign nations describe as a lack of action to address deforestation in the Amazon.  

    According to a French diplomatic source, as cited by Reuters, advisers to G7 leaders are currently examining what concrete steps on the Amazon can be agreed during the summit in Biarritz. 

    The French president's office issued a statement on Friday saying that the country would oppose the proposed Mercosur trade deal between the European Union and South American countries. The Amazon wildfires had earlier promoted Finland to call for a ban on Brazilian beef.

    Smoke billows during a fire in an area of the Amazon rainforest near Humaita, Amazonas State, Brazil, Brazil August 14, 2019.
    © REUTERS / Ueslei Marcelino
    Smoke billows during a fire in an area of the Amazon rainforest near Humaita, Amazonas State, Brazil, Brazil August 14, 2019.

    According to Brazil's space research agency, 73,000 fires - more than half of them in the Amazon - have taken place in the country this year, which is the highest since records began in 2013.

    Mr Bolsonaro has said that the wildfires could be the fault of NGOs. "In my opinion [burning in Amazon] may have been initiated by NGOs because they lost money, what is the intention? To bring problems to Brazil,” the president said at a steel industry meeting in Brasilia this week.

    Climate campaigners deny the accusations and blame the fires on government's policies that favour the expansion of mining and industrial farming in the area. 

    Tags:
    army, Jair Bolsonaro, wildfires, Amazon, Brazil
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