A water-bombing plane financed by G7 money has taken off from Paraguay to help fight fires in the Amazon, in coordination with Chile, the French president said Thursday. "Bolsonaro's new plan of action comes after an ominous warning from scientists who say the Amazon is nearing a 'tipping point" in which a third of its ecosystem could be irreversibly decimated.
ALTAMIRA, Brazil: As fires raged in parts of the Amazon, Mydje Kayapo sat in a small boat looking out over the Curua River in the Bau indigenous reserve.
State governors and agribusiness leaders from the Amazon region have implored Mr Bolsonaro to accept financial aid from the G7, fearing that continued tensions could impact on Brazilian exports.
Brazilians have been holding rallies to call for the protection of the Amazon rainforest.
About 60 percent of the Amazon region is in Brazil.
The thousands of fires tearing through the Amazon have spawned an global crisis for Brazil, with public protests and world leaders voicing concern that Bolsonaro's government is doing too little to protect the world's largest tropical rainforest.
Fires in Brazil's Amazon rainforest have receded slightly since President Jair Bolsonaro sent in the military to help battle the blazes, but worldwide fallout accelerated as a major shoemaker said it would not buy supplies from Brazil.
"Germany and in particular France are buying our sovereignty", Bolsonaro said. He later said he would reconsider accepting the money if Macron would "withdraw his words".
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The move was one of the first signs of a concrete economic impact from the controversy over the fires, which Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has insisted are under control.
On the eve of the G7 summit last week, Macron declared the forest fires, which are also affecting Bolivia, an "international crisis" and put them on the agenda of the gathering.
Macron accused him of "lying" about fighting climate change and threatened to scrap a huge trade deal between the European Union and South America.
Bolsonaro reacted furiously, accusing Macron of having a "colonialist mentality".
Activists quickly doused hopes that the prohibition would work in the remote Amazon region where deforestation has surged this year as agencies tasked with monitoring illegal activities were weakened.
According to Agence France-Presse news agency, on Thursday United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres urged the globe to do more to tackle the Amazonian fires.
This year's total is the highest since 2010 when 132,106 fires were detected across the country.
Police on Thursday arrested three people for burning more than 5,000 hectares (12,350 acres) in a conservation area in Para state.
Bolsonaro however claimed in a live broadcast on Facebook that "this year's fires are below the average of recent years".