AP Photo/Victor R. Caivano

Church of England: Amazon fires are destroying hope

Sat 24 Aug 2019
By Tola Mbakwe

The Church of England's lead bishop for Environmental Affairs has called the Amazon rainforest fires an “appalling” situation that’s destroying hope. 

Rt Rev Nick Holtam, Bishop of Salisbury, said in a statement: “There is a climate emergency which does not know international boundaries. The Amazon is a global resource as well as a national one.

"In the last 36 hours I have been asked to sign a variety of climate related petitions and letters. People are concerned.”


He urged politicians to unite to solve the issue.

Bishop Nick added: "The economy is a wholly owned subsidiary of the environment.

"At the moment there are so many initiatives to plant trees to help carbon capture. It is appalling to see such large areas of rainforest burn.

"They destroy more than the trees. They destroy hope."

AP Photo/Victor R. Caivano
Cattle rest under the shadow of a tree, in a patch of land recently burnt near Porto Velho, Brazil, Friday, Aug. 23, 2019


On Saturday, Brazil's president Jair Bolsonaro authorised the use of the military to battle the huge blazes sweeping parts of the Amazon while thousands took to the streets to protest his environmental policies.

Brazilian forces will deploy to border areas, indigenous territories and other affected regions in the Amazon to assist in putting out fires for a month, according to a presidential decree authorising use of the army.

The military will "act strongly" to control the wildfires, Mr Bolsonaro promised as he signed the decree.

AP Photo/Victor R. Caivano
Fire consumes an area near Porto Velho, Brazil, Friday, Aug. 23, 2019


The armed forces will collaborate with public security and environmental protection agencies, the decree says.

Mr Bolsonaro has previously described rainforest protections as an obstacle to Brazil's economic development, sparring with critics who note that the Amazon produces vast amounts of oxygen and is considered crucial for efforts to contain climate change.

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