Inkaterra Calls for Action on Amazon Fires

A NASA satellite image of the fires in Brazil // Photo by ESA/NASA–L. Parmitano/NASA via AP, Newscred

Brazil is set to reject aid to fight this year’s record fires in the Amazon rainforest, multiple media outlets are reporting and sustainable ecotourism operator Inkaterra is calling for all concerned to do everything in their power to fight the fires. 

According to CNBC, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro is set to reject $22 million in aid from the G-7 nations – Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the UK and the United States – over comments made by French President Emmanuel Macron on the need for international action to fight the fires. Bolsonaro said that the idea displayed a “misplaced colonialist mindset,” although he may accept the aid if Macron walks back his “insults.”

While it is common for the Amazon to witness fires in the dry season, which runs from July to October, this year has been particularly bad: there have been more than 75,000 forest first in the country since January, an 84 percent year over year increase. A representative for Brazil’s space agency has said that all of the fires are of human origin, some deliberate and some accidental. 

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Inkaterra, a Peru-based operator of carbon-neutral ecolodges at Machu Picchu, in Cuzco and near Puerto Maldonado on the Madre de Dios tributary of the Amazon River, has called for action on the issue. 

“As it is often said, the Amazon are the lungs of Planet Earth," said Jose Koechlin, chairman of the Inkaterra Association, in a written statement. "And even though Inkaterra's properties on the Amazon's Madre de Dios river in Peru are a thousand miles from the fires in Brazil, as lovers of the earth we are all shocked and saddened by the environmental catastrophe happening in our next-door neighbor."

"Every person in the world is threatened and appalled by what is happening in the Brazilian rainforest; we urge all concerned to do everything in their power to fight and eliminate the fires and to preserve the well-being of the planet we all call our home," Koechlin said.

According to the BBC, the north of Brazil – particularly the states of Roraima, Acre, Rondônia and Amazonas – have been the worst hit by this year’s fires. 

In addition to Brazil, Bolivia has seen a 114 percent increase in fires for the first eight months of this year, while Venezuela has seen a 19 percent rise. Peru, Guyana, Suriname and French Guyana have recorded a smaller total number of fires, but percentage wise, fires have been up by more than 100 percent this year. 

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