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US NewsAs Amazon Burns, Fires in Next-Door Bolivia Also Wreak Havoc

08:15  26 august  2019
08:15  26 august  2019 Source:   msn.com

Wildfires are burning around the world. The most alarming is in the Amazon rainforest.

Wildfires are burning around the world. The most alarming is in the Amazon rainforest. Record heat, drought, and deforestation are contributing to wildfire risk.

LA PAZ, Bolivia — Amid growing international alarm over fires in Brazil’s Amazon region, neighboring Bolivia is facing devastating fires of its own, with flames devouring farmland and environmentally sensitive forests alike. In midst of the calamity, the country’s president, Evo Morales, suspended his

The Amazon sprawls for millions of square miles across nine different countries - and Bolivia has seen fires rage across the forest near its borders with Brazil and Paraguay. media captionDrone footage shows some of the damage done to Bolivia 's Amazon .

Video by AFP

LA PAZ, Bolivia — Amid growing international alarm over fires in Brazil’s Amazon region, neighboring Bolivia is facing devastating fires of its own, with flames devouring farmland and environmentally sensitive forests alike.

In midst of the calamity, the country’s president, Evo Morales, suspended his re-election campaign on Sunday and, in a shift, welcomed foreign aid.

As Amazon Burns, Fires in Next-Door Bolivia Also Wreak Havoc © Aizar Raldes/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images President Evo Morales of Bolivia said he would accept international aid and suspend his re-election campaign to fight wildfires. “Whatever cooperation is welcome, whether it comes from international organizations, celebrities or from the presidents who offered to help,” Mr. Morales said in the city of Cochabamba, where he had been campaigning for a fourth term. Bolivian officials, he vowed, would “dedicate ourselves” to the problem.

The blazes in the Amazon are so big they can be seen from space. One map shows the alarming scale of the fires.

The blazes in the Amazon are so big they can be seen from space. One map shows the alarming scale of the fires. The Brazilian Amazon is burning at a record rate. Nearly 10,000 fires have sparked in the last week, and satellites have spotted the blazes.

The 2019 Amazon rainforest wildfires season saw a year-to-year surge in fires occurring in the Amazon rainforest and Amazon biome within Brazil, Bolivia , Paraguay

Firefighters try to control a fire near Charagua, close to the border with Paraguay. Soldiers take a break from fighting fires in the Chiquitano dry forest. Photograph: Juan Karita/AP. Many locals blame migrant farmers moving from Bolivia ’s highlands to the tropical lowlands for spreading the fires

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Fires, some of them set by farmers trying to clear brush, are a regular feature of the dry season in northern South America. But this year has been different.

Blazes in Bolivia’s Chiquitano forest and in the Amazon region of Brazil have been far larger, and more widespread, than in previous seasons. That has aroused international concern and, in the case of Brazil, outrage at President Jair Bolsonaro’s dismissal of the blazes’ seriousness.

As Amazon Burns, Fires in Next-Door Bolivia Also Wreak Havoc © Agence France-Presse — Getty Images The fire in eastern Bolivia has destroyed sensitive wildlife habitat and some of the country’s most productive farmland. Mr. Morales said he gotten calls from the presidents of Spain, Chile and Paraguay in recent days with offers of help. And on Sunday, as the Group of 7 met in France, President Emmanuel Macron said the world’s seven richest democracies were putting together an aid package for the South American nations affected by the fires.

How are the raging fires in the Amazon rainforest affecting climate change?

How are the raging fires in the Amazon rainforest affecting climate change? "The effects of forest destruction in the Amazon don't stay in the Amazon. They affect us all," one expert said.

Satellites show fires continuing to spread throughout tropical rainforests worldwide including the Bolivian Amazon and sub-Saharan Africa. These bigger and more frequent fires will increasingly make more of a contribution to climate change.

Neighbouring Bolivia and Paraguay have struggled to contain fires that swept through woods and fields. Activists demonstrate during a protest against the government of Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro over the fires in the Amazon rainforest, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Recovery will not be quick.

It may take up to 200 years for the forests in Bolivia to heal, said Miguel Crespo, head of nonprofit environmental group Probioma. “I’ve never seen an environmental tragedy on this scale,” he said.

At first, Mr. Morales tried to play down the fires, which have been spreading across four states over the past month. Just hours before he suspended his campaign on Sunday, the president’s chief of staff, Juan Quintana, rejected the need for foreign firefighting aid.

As Amazon Burns, Fires in Next-Door Bolivia Also Wreak Havoc © Juan Karita/Associated Press An airplane dropping fire retardant on a wildfire in the Chiquitania forest in eastern Bolivia. Bolivia, he told local radio stations, did not need “to extend its hands to beg.”

But in a country already been galvanized by Mr. Morales’ controversial re-election bid, the reaction to the fires has taken on strong political overtones. Bolivia’s Constitution barred Mr. Morales from running again, and he lost a referendum that would have let him do so. When he turned to the courts to throw out the term limits, mass protests followed.

Five things to know about the Amazon rainforest fires

Five things to know about the Amazon rainforest fires The surge in wildfires raging through the Amazon rainforest is posing a threat to the environment beyond Brazil's borders. Environmental experts say the destruction of the rainforest could make it harder to combat climate change on a global scale. That's because the rainforest - a source of 20 percent of the earth's oxygen - has served a vital role in carbon storage, absorbing a substantial amount of the 2.4 billion metric tons captured each year by forests worldwide. An increase in fires and deforestation in that region could markedly accelerate warming climates beyond South America.

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As Amazon burns , fires in next - door Bolivia also wreak havoc . [LA PAZ, BOLIVIA ] Amid growing international alarm over fires in Brazil's Amazon region, neighbouring Bolivia is facing devastating fires of its own, with flames devouring farmland and

As Amazon Burns, Fires in Next-Door Bolivia Also Wreak Havoc © ASSOCIATED PRESS Volunteers work to put out a forest fire in Aguas Calientes, on the outskirts of Robore, Bolivia, Saturday, Aug. 24, 2019. On Saturday, volunteers on the ground worked to extinguish fires in Bolivia's Chiquitania region, where the woods are dry at this time of year. Now, political opponents and various sectors of the population are attacking Mr. Morales over his slow response to the fires.

In Roboré, a smoke-choked town in eastern Bolivia, hundreds of angry residents in smoke masks blockaded Mr. Quintana, the chief of staff, and Bolivia’s defense minister in a cafeteria at a military base on Saturday, demanding international aid. And in t Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia’s largest city, residents called a demonstration Sunday night to demand that the government declare a state of emergency.

As Amazon Burns, Fires in Next-Door Bolivia Also Wreak Havoc © ASSOCIATED PRESS Dust is kicked up by a departing helicopter near trees that were burned last week by a forest fire, at the military airport in Robore, Bolivia, Sunday, Aug. 25, 2019. Airplanes are dropping fire retardant on a wildfire burning in the Chquitania Forest near Robore. By Saturday, the fires had destroyed 2.5 million acres of forestland in the eastern state of Santa Cruz, double the area burned a week ago. They were approaching the city of Santa Cruz.

Hong Kong Officer Fires Shot, and Police Use Water Cannons at Protest

Hong Kong Officer Fires Shot, and Police Use Water Cannons at Protest HONG KONG — Hong Kong police officers on Sunday drew pistols on protesters who were charging them with sticks, and one fired a warning shot into the air after another officer fell, as a weekend of violent clashes brought an end to nearly two weeks of restraint. T he police on Sunday fired rounds of tear gas and plastic bullets at protesters who threw bricks and firebombs. They also used water cannon trucks for the first time since protests began in June.

Environmental experts say the fires are threatening about 500 types of animals, including jaguars, tapirs, and 35 endangered species, some of which are found nowhere else.

As Amazon Burns, Fires in Next-Door Bolivia Also Wreak Havoc © Aizar Raldes/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images Soldiers, firefighters and volunteers fighting fires near Roboré, in eastern Bolivia, on Sunday. Bolivia’s business chamber predicted that the fires will halve the country’s gross domestic product this year; it has been projected by the International Monetary Fund to grow by 4 percent. The flames have already left about 300,000 cows without pasture, the chamber said.

Mr. Morales’s opponents attribute the wildfires on the government’s landmark campaign to hand out free land to peasants and open up new areas to agribusiness.

Those policies won Mr. Morales broad support among the poor while placating the country’s conservative business groups. But they came at the cost of leaving swaths of previously virgin jungle and bushland exposed to uncontrolled slash-and-burn farming, critics say.

As Amazon Burns, Fires in Next-Door Bolivia Also Wreak Havoc © Getty A volunteer tries to put out a fire in the surroundings of Robore in eastern Bolivia, on August 25, 2019. - The Bolivian government on Friday took delivery of a "supertanker" aircraft to help extinguish fires that have destroyed around 7,770 square kilometers (3,000 square miles) of the eastern province of Santa Cruz for the past month. Neighbouring Brazil and Paraguay are also battling separate wildfires that have devastated large areas of their rainforests, including many in the Amazon basin. (Photo by Aizar RALDES / AFP) (Photo credit should read AIZAR RALDES/AFP/Getty Images) Bolivia’s land management authority estimates that 87 percent of the wildfires now started as illegal fires set by farmers.

Brazil has angrily attacked offers to help it put out the huge fires in the Amazon — here is why it is pushing back against global outrage

Brazil has angrily attacked offers to help it put out the huge fires in the Amazon — here is why it is pushing back against global outrage Brazil's leaders are pushing back at world leaders' outcry about the Amazon, telling the rest of the world they should stay out of the issue entirely.

Political analysts said Mr. Morales’ response was partly driven by a desire to maintain the votes of core supporters among small-scale indigenous farmers, who often lack the machinery and capital to clear the land without resorting to fire.

“If the small families don’t burn their plots, how are they going to get by?” Mr. Morales said on the campaign trail Tuesday. “The small producer has just half a hectare for yuca and a hectare for corn to eat. That’s their situation.”

After initially ignoring the fires, the president last week dispatched soldiers and three helicopters to fight fires in an area the size of Oregon. In the past few days, he stepped up efforts, hiring the world’s largest firefighting aircraft, the Boeing SuperTanker 747, from the United States to help.

The bulk of the firefighting up to now, however, has mostly been carried out by local volunteers and hastily assembled students from Santa Cruz.

As Amazon Burns, Fires in Next-Door Bolivia Also Wreak Havoc © ASSOCIATED PRESS A volunteer works to put out a forest fire in Quitunuquina, on the outskirts of Robore, Bolivia, Saturday, Aug. 24, 2019. Volunteers on the ground worked to extinguish fires in Bolivia's Chiquitania region, where farmers commonly set fires in this season to clear land for crops or livestock, but sometimes the blazes get out of control. (AP Photo/Juan Karita) In his 13 years in office, Mr. Morales has struggled to balance his professed environmental priorities with the political need to produce quick economic results.

Once in office, he turned his homespun environmental awareness, drawn from indigenous Bolivians’ connection to nature, into a core part of his political image. In 2010, he passed the world’s first law giving rights to all living things.

The Amazon Is Not Earth’s Lungs

The Amazon Is Not Earth’s Lungs Humans could burn every living thing on the planet and still not dent its oxygen supply.

His economic policies, however, have often clashed with the harmonious existence he preaches, critics point out. His government passed at least four laws and six decrees expanding agricultural use of fragile forested areas since 2013, for example.

Bolivia’s land management authority said deforestation jumped 200 percent since the government quadrupled the permitted deforestation area for small farmers in 2015. The land authority attributed the increase on lax environmental enforcement.

Gallery: In Photos: Fires in Brazil and the Amazon(Picture Services)

As Amazon Burns, Fires in Next-Door Bolivia Also Wreak Havoc
As Amazon Burns, Fires in Next-Door Bolivia Also Wreak Havoc
As Amazon Burns, Fires in Next-Door Bolivia Also Wreak Havoc
As Amazon Burns, Fires in Next-Door Bolivia Also Wreak Havoc
As Amazon Burns, Fires in Next-Door Bolivia Also Wreak Havoc
As Amazon Burns, Fires in Next-Door Bolivia Also Wreak Havoc
As Amazon Burns, Fires in Next-Door Bolivia Also Wreak Havoc
As Amazon Burns, Fires in Next-Door Bolivia Also Wreak Havoc
As Amazon Burns, Fires in Next-Door Bolivia Also Wreak Havoc
As Amazon Burns, Fires in Next-Door Bolivia Also Wreak Havoc
As Amazon Burns, Fires in Next-Door Bolivia Also Wreak Havoc
As Amazon Burns, Fires in Next-Door Bolivia Also Wreak Havoc
As Amazon Burns, Fires in Next-Door Bolivia Also Wreak Havoc
As Amazon Burns, Fires in Next-Door Bolivia Also Wreak Havoc
As Amazon Burns, Fires in Next-Door Bolivia Also Wreak Havoc
As Amazon Burns, Fires in Next-Door Bolivia Also Wreak Havoc
As Amazon Burns, Fires in Next-Door Bolivia Also Wreak Havoc
As Amazon Burns, Fires in Next-Door Bolivia Also Wreak Havoc
As Amazon Burns, Fires in Next-Door Bolivia Also Wreak Havoc
As Amazon Burns, Fires in Next-Door Bolivia Also Wreak Havoc
As Amazon Burns, Fires in Next-Door Bolivia Also Wreak Havoc
As Amazon Burns, Fires in Next-Door Bolivia Also Wreak Havoc
As Amazon Burns, Fires in Next-Door Bolivia Also Wreak Havoc
As Amazon Burns, Fires in Next-Door Bolivia Also Wreak Havoc
As Amazon Burns, Fires in Next-Door Bolivia Also Wreak Havoc
As Amazon Burns, Fires in Next-Door Bolivia Also Wreak Havoc
As Amazon Burns, Fires in Next-Door Bolivia Also Wreak Havoc
As Amazon Burns, Fires in Next-Door Bolivia Also Wreak Havoc
As Amazon Burns, Fires in Next-Door Bolivia Also Wreak Havoc
As Amazon Burns, Fires in Next-Door Bolivia Also Wreak Havoc
As Amazon Burns, Fires in Next-Door Bolivia Also Wreak Havoc
As Amazon Burns, Fires in Next-Door Bolivia Also Wreak Havoc
As Amazon Burns, Fires in Next-Door Bolivia Also Wreak Havoc
As Amazon Burns, Fires in Next-Door Bolivia Also Wreak Havoc
As Amazon Burns, Fires in Next-Door Bolivia Also Wreak Havoc
As Amazon Burns, Fires in Next-Door Bolivia Also Wreak Havoc
As Amazon Burns, Fires in Next-Door Bolivia Also Wreak Havoc
As Amazon Burns, Fires in Next-Door Bolivia Also Wreak Havoc
As Amazon Burns, Fires in Next-Door Bolivia Also Wreak Havoc
As Amazon Burns, Fires in Next-Door Bolivia Also Wreak Havoc
As Amazon Burns, Fires in Next-Door Bolivia Also Wreak Havoc
As Amazon Burns, Fires in Next-Door Bolivia Also Wreak Havoc
As Amazon Burns, Fires in Next-Door Bolivia Also Wreak Havoc
As Amazon Burns, Fires in Next-Door Bolivia Also Wreak Havoc
As Amazon Burns, Fires in Next-Door Bolivia Also Wreak Havoc
As Amazon Burns, Fires in Next-Door Bolivia Also Wreak Havoc
As Amazon Burns, Fires in Next-Door Bolivia Also Wreak Havoc
As Amazon Burns, Fires in Next-Door Bolivia Also Wreak Havoc
As Amazon Burns, Fires in Next-Door Bolivia Also Wreak Havoc
As Amazon Burns, Fires in Next-Door Bolivia Also Wreak Havoc
As Amazon Burns, Fires in Next-Door Bolivia Also Wreak Havoc
“The government has detonated an environmental disaster,” said Mr. Crespo, the conservationist. “In large part, this tragedy is the result of the state’s populism and development vision based on agribusiness.”

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The Amazon, Siberia, Indonesia: A World of Fire.
In South America, the Amazon basin is ablaze. Halfway around the world in central Africa, vast stretches of savanna are going up in flame. Arctic regions in Siberia are burning at a historic pace. While the Brazilian fires have grown into a full-blown international crisis, they represent only one of many significant areas where wildfires are currently burning around the world. Their increase in severity and spread to places where fires were rarely previously seen is raising fears that climate change is exacerbating the danger.

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