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Brazil’s president hits out at G7 ‘colonialism’ and ‘attacks’ on Amazon

It followed pledges by world leaders to back firefighting efforts in the rainforest with France’s Emmanuel Macron vowing similar action in Africa.

An area smoulders in the Alvorada da Amazonia region in Novo Progresso, Para state, Brazil (Leo Correa/AP)
An area smoulders in the Alvorada da Amazonia region in Novo Progresso, Para state, Brazil (Leo Correa/AP)

By Associated Press Reporter

Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro has said a G7 agreement on fighting the Amazon fires treats the region like a colony.

The response came in a tweet Monday morning after French President Emmanuel Macron announced that the Group of Seven had agreed on a 20 million US dollar firefighting fund as well as a long-term initiative to protect the rainforest.

Mr Bolsonaro tweeted: “We cannot accept that a president, Macron, makes ludicrous and unnecessary attacks on Amazonia, nor that he makes his intentions with an idea of an ‘alliance’ of G7 countries to save the Amazon, as if we were a colony or someone’s territory.”

At the same time, Mr Macron savaged the Brazilian president for “extraordinarily disrespectful comments” about his wife and reiterated that Mr Bolsonaro had lied about commitments to deforestation.

Mr Bolsonaro, in turn, said Macron’s “ludicrous and unnecessary attacks on the Amazon” were unacceptable and accused him of treating the region “as if we were a colony”.

Mr Macron also said on Monday that he was considering launching an international campaign to help sub-Saharan African countries fight fires raging in the area that are being compared to the Amazon rainforest fires.

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French President Emmanuel Macron (Ian Langsdon/AP)

Mr Macron tweeted from the Group of Seven summit: “The forest is also burning in sub-Saharan Africa.

“We are studying the possibility of launching an initiative similar to what we just announced for the Amazon.”

Mr Macron said earlier on Monday that G7 nations are committing 20 million US dollars to countries in the Amazon region to help fight the fires and help with “re-forestation”.

Environmental groups have expressed concern about massive fires in African countries including Angola and DR Congo that are getting less attention than those in the Amazon, which have caused worldwide concern because of their potential impact on climate change.

PA

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