Christians from different parts of the world denounced the Brazilian president for his anti-environmental policies amid the ongoing Amazon fires.
A Christian climate group, A Rocha UK, urged Christians to boycott president Jair Bolsonaro, a far-right climate skeptic, who reportedly urged farmers and loggers to clear vast lands in the Amazon. To date, tens of thousands of wildfires are blazing across the Amazon which can be seen from outer space.
We do not want to be supporting as a Christian community someone who is encouraging the illegal clearance of rain forest, and encouraging the dispersal and removal of indigenous people who have ownership rights to that land. —Andy Lester, Conservation director at A Rocha UK
In an interview with Premier, Andy Lester, Conservation director at A Rocha UK, said, “If we’re seeing huge fires across an area, the size of the UK or more in Brazil, then we know that in some areas of the world like Brazil, far more trees are disappearing than are being planted.”
NGO Manos Unidas warned that the effects of the blaze will be “irreversible.” The group revealed that in 2019, there have been 71,497 wildfires, more than half of which occurred in the Amazon region.
Aside from the raging fires, the NGO feared that the Amazon is vulnerable to “the uncontrolled exploitation of natural resources to obtain minerals or fuels and the extension of the agricultural frontier for single crop farming or extensive livestock production.”
The Amazon rainforest, also called the “lungs” of the world, produces 20% of the earth’s oxygen and is an important storage of carbon.
Sixty percent of the Amazon is located in Brazil. Experts said the rate of deforestation quadrupled in July this year compared to the data in the same period last year, reports The Telegraph.
World leaders have criticized Bolsonaro for his delayed action on stopping the raging fires. France and Ireland threatened to block a trade deal with South America if Brazil continues its indifference to the environmental crisis at hand.
President Bolsonaro has a strong Christian following in the country and Mr. Lester worried that “many people will believe exactly what he’s saying.”
Mr. Lester called on Christians worldwide to boycott Brazil’s president. “We do not want to be supporting as a Christian community someone who is encouraging the illegal clearance of rain forest, and encouraging the dispersal and removal of indigenous people who have ownership rights to that land.”