Life, Americas

Brazil: Bolsonaro slams critics over Amazon fires

Brazil urges calm, constructive dialogue amid global accusations on Amazon forest fires

Vakkas Doğantekin   | 25.08.2019
Brazil: Bolsonaro slams critics over Amazon fires File Photo

ANKARA

Brazil's president slammed countries that have over the last week bombarded the South American nation over its handling of massive wildfires in the Amazon.

Jair Bolsonaro released late on Saturday a "message to Brazil and the world on the Brazilian Amazon and the disinformation campaign built against our nation's sovereignty'', saying no other country or individual could appreciate the importance of the Amazon rainforests more than Brazil and Brazilians.

Bolsonaro said his administration was against "illegal deforestation" of the Amazon and vowed to fight all criminal activities as well as the fires, which he argued were normal due to the season's heat, aridity and wind.

However, he added that 20 million Brazilians who live in the Amazon had the right to benefit from the economic opportunities "proportional" to the riches of the rainforest.

Bolsonaro called for "calm" in the world community and avoidance of spreading "unfounded data and messages".

He added that Brazil leads many countries in environmentalism with its laws and vision to protect native vegetation.

"Several developed countries, on the other hand, have not yet been able to advance their commitments under the Paris Agreement," Bolsonaro said.

In Dec. 2015, parties to The UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) reached a landmark agreement to combat climate change as well as to accelerate and intensify efforts for a sustainable low-carbon future.

EU Council President Donald Tusk on Saturday warned that the ratification of Mercosur-EU free trade deal by the European parliaments might be at risk "as long as the Brazilian government allows for the destruction of the green lungs of Planet Earth."

"We of course stand by the EU-Mercosur agreement, which is also about protecting the climate and environment, but it is hard to imagine a harmonious process of ratification by the European countries," he said during a press conference at French coastal town of Biarritz in the guidelines of G7 summit.

"This is about our 'to be or not to be'," he said.

The EU in late June reached a historic trade agreement with the four founding members of Mercosur -- Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay -- as part of a bi-regional association agreement.

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