Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 20 November 2019

The Amazon is still burning. Can we save it?

There have been more fires so far this year than any point in nearly a decade

The Amazon is on fire.

Officials have identified tens of thousands of fires so far this year, most of them are manmade.

The rainforests are a vital habitat, home to countless unique plants and animals, but it is also the worlds largest terrestrial carbon sink. When the trees burn, tones of Co2 is released into the atmosphere.

But what can be done to stop it?

President Jair Bolsonaro has been criticized for his anti-preservation stance, saying that the economy should be prioritised over protection. In recent days he appears to have reversed his stance, saying the forests are a priority but his government is reviewing the status of the country’s reserves and environmental legislation.

But for a decade, Brazil saw a massive reduction in burning of the forest, between 2005 and 2015, the number of fires ever year dropped nearly 80 per cent.

So how did the government do it and why did the number of fires begin to creep up again?

On this week's Beyond the Headlines, we spoke to Carlos Nobre, a prominent Brazilian climate scientist at the University of Sao Paulo, to answer that question and to talk about the impact of the fires.

Then we’ll speak to Natalie Unterstell, the director of policy at Brazilian think tank Talanoa Solutions. She’ll tell us more about the view from the country and what underpins the crisis.

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Read more:

Disapproval of Jair Bolsonaro jumps after Amazon crisis, poll shows

Brazil says it is successfully controlling amazon fires

The Amazon is burning: spare a thought for the hundreds of indigenous tribes who call it home

Respiratory illnesses strike locals near Amazon fires

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If you missed last week's episode, Israeli drones above Beirut, talking about clashes between Hezbollah and Israel then check it out here.

Updated: October 28, 2019 05:47 PM

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