United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet called on the South American countries of Bolivia, Paraguay and Brazil to ensure the implementation of longstanding environmental policies to prevent future tragedies of the scale of recent Amazon fires.
Addressing the 42nd session of the Human Rights Council meeting here, Bachelet expressed deep concern over the drastic acceleration of deforestation of the Amazon due to fires currently raging across the rainforest, and its catastrophic impact on humanity as a whole.
"I am deeply concerned by the drastic acceleration of deforestation of the Amazon. The fires currently raging across the rainforest may have a catastrophic impact on humanity as a whole, but their worst effects are suffered by the women, men and children who live in these areas - among them, many indigenous peoples," said Bachelet
"The full toll of death and harm done in the course of recent weeks in Bolivia, Paraguay and Brazil may never be known. I call on the authorities of their countries to ensure the implementation of longstanding environmental policies and incentive systems for sustainable management, thus preventing future tragedies," she added.
A record number of fires were registered in the month of August across the Amazonian countries. As many as 73,000 were recorded since the beginning of this year in Brazil alone compared with 39,759 in all of 2018, country's National Institute for Space Research (INPE) said, as cited by Al Jazeera.
Environmentalists have blamed the surge in fires on reduced protection of the environment under Brazil's right-wing President Jair Bolsonaro.
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