At least 2,500 fires have ravaged the Amazon rainforest with experts warning that a third of the Amazon rainforest’s ecosystem could be irreversibly decimated. Experts warn that the loss of such massive areas of the Amazon rainforest could result in the eradication of species and unleash large amounts of stored carbon.
As Brazil’s president has recently sent the nation’s armed forces to help tackle the Amazon rainforest fires, media outlets have established uncanny links between the ecological disaster and a recent lawsuit against a large oil company.
Recent Lawsuit Against Oil Corporations and the Amazon Fires
Newspapers have reported a link (or coincidence?) between the fires and a recent lawsuit won by a forest tribe in the Amazon against a large oil corporation.
The court decision, which came just one month before the Amazon fires began, ruled that the 2,000-strong tribe had not received proper consultation over plans to sell off the lands. As a result of the court ruling, half a million acres of ancestral land was protected from being mined for oil drilling by oil companies.
Is Brazil’s President to Blame for the Amazon Fires?
Brazil’s far-right president, Jair Bolsonaro, had initially dismissed the growing global concern over the Amazon fires before mobilizing the country’s armed forces to combat the fires.
The sudden reversal comes after international outrage reached its peak. NBC News issued a report titled, “The Amazon rainforests are on fire. Brazil’s Trump-like president, Jair Bolsonaro, is to blame.”
In the past Bolsonaro repeatedly offered indigenous tribes incentives to give up the land in the Amazon for what he referred to as a “better life”. Bolsonaro even fired the head of the country’s National Institute for Space Research following the agency’s disturbing report on a record number of fires in the Amazon rainforest in 2019.
What do you think? Were the Amazon fires started by arsonists after a court decided to protect land in the Amazon?