Pope Francis celebrated an opening Mass in St. Peter's Basilica on Sunday with global attention newly focused on the forest fires that are devouring the Amazon.
Daniel Wilkinson, managing director of Human Rights Watch's Americas division, says President Jair Bolsonaro has put "defenders of the [Amazon] forest at serious risk."
The announcement suggests Bolsonaro has dropped an earlier demand that French President Emmanuel Macron withdraw "insults" made against him before he would accept a G7 offer to help put out the fires in the world's largest rainforest.
G7 countries pledged $20 million to fight the blaze destroying the world's largest rainforest at the Biarritz summit hosted by French President Macron, who insisted the Amazon should be discussed as a top priority.
UK PM Boris Johnson pledged $12.3 million to help restore the Amazon which has been ravaged by fires. Brazilian warplanes have been dumping water on the blaze in Rondonia, after a global outcry over the destruction of the world's largest rainforest.
Over 70,000 fires have taken place in just Brazil this year, the consequences of which will affect humanity for generations.
Paris and the UN called for the protection of the fire-plagued Amazon rainforest as Brazil's right-wing president accused his French counterpart of having a "colonialist mentality" over the issue.
Norway and Germany, among others, have discontinued financial aid for the Amazon Fund, leading some Brazilian federal governors to appeal directly to Europe to change their minds.
The preservation of the Amazon, the world’s largest rainforest, is regarded as vital in the attempt to curb global warming due to its massive ability to absorb carbon from the air.
The recently-elected Bolsonaro government will embark on a process of privatising management of national parks amid criticism the government prefers economic development over conservation of environment.
The victims were peasant farmers who refused to leave the lands when pressured by oil palm growers, while three policemen are killed in drug-trafficking region.
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