10:41 GMT26 October 2020
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    RIO DE JANEIRO (Sputnik) - Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has ordered to stop controlled burning of the Amazon rainforests for 60 days starting Thursday amid a global outcry.

    The decree suspending licenses for clearing land with fire was signed by Bolsonaro on Wednesday. It excludes burning for phytosanitary and fire drilling purposes.

    World leaders and environmentalists have been calling on the Brazilian government to do more to stop the fires, a record number of which has been devastating the rainforests.

    The wildfires in the Amazon were among the key issues on the agenda at the G7 summit in the French Biarritz last weekend. French President Emmanuel Macron described the fires as a serious international crisis and accused Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro of having lied to him about his commitments to fighting deforestation. Following the summit, Macron announced that the Group of Seven would allocate more than $22 million to help extinguish the fires. Bolsonaro first responded by saying that the G7 move was treating Brazil like a colony. However, the government of Brazil later said that it welcomes all foreign aid to help fight the wildfires in the Amazon if it can decide on how to use this assistance on its own.

    The Amazon rainforest produces about 20 per cent of the Earth's atmospheric oxygen. According to satellite data provided by the Brazilian National Institute for Space Research, this year the wildfire area had increased 82 per cent compared to 2018. 

    Jair Bolsonaro, wildfires, Amazonas, Brazil
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