France President: ‘Our house is on fire, the Amazon, the lungs of our planet’

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The state of the world’s source of oxygen and other basic essentials of life on earth now rests on just 6% of the surviving tropical rain-forests, and Papua New Guinea proudly boasts as a contributor that makes up this percentage, of which, the Amazon rain-forest in Brazil is the largest – which is also rich in diverse plant-life and many different animal species.

This percentage however, is continuously at threat by many factors that contribute towards rain-forest depletion or deforestation as it is most commonly known. Some of these factors (mostly man-made) include mining, logging, farming and infrastructural development. Another threat that also contributes to rain-forest destruction is wildfires. These may also be man-made or naturally caused.

In Brazil earlier this month, a declared state of emergency was announced over the rising number of fires in the region. So far this year, almost 73,000 fires have been detected by Brazil’s space research centre, INPE – and many of these fires are still raging.

On Monday afternoon, the skies darkened over Sao Paulo in Brazil (the city with the largest population in all of the South American continent), for an hour the city experienced this rare sighting after a cold front caused winds to shift and carry smoke from more than 2000km away. The smoke from the fire was so big that it could be seen from out of space.

A statement from Stephane Dujarric, a spokesperson from the United Nations Secretary-General, said that the health of all these massive forests, not only the Amazon, but also the forests in the Congo basin, and in Indonesia, is critical for the well-being of humanity.

“We are very concerned about these fires…because sustaining forest is crucial in our fight against climate change. All forests are essential for the health of the entire world, the international community recognises this importance of the forest…”

 

Video Source: Asia Vision Network/UNTV_AMAZON WILD FIRES

Other world leaders have also stepped in to amplify the need for attention concerning these raging fires.

“Our house is on fire. Literally…the Amazon, the lungs of our planet which produces 20% of our oxygen, is on fire. This is an international crisis.” France President, Emmanuel Macron stated.

World Wildlife Fund (WWF) UK raised the question as to why it wasn’t getting enough attention from the world.

 

While the fires are still raging throughout parts of Brazil for almost 20 days now, people have taken to social media with the campaign “#PrayforAmazonas.” A meteorologist, Eric Holthaus, twitted: “We are in a climate emergency” stating just how serious this catastrophe is.

Joanita Nonwo

is a contributor with EMTV Online, specialising in international stories relating to development, environment and gender equality, all within a Papua New Guinean context.

Joanita Nonwo
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