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Canada to invest $15M in fighting Amazon fires

Last Updated Aug 26, 2019 at 3:11 pm PDT


Canada will also be sending waterbombers and other heavy equipment

The fires have been a topic of conversation at the G7

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – In addition to money disccused at the G7, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says Canada will also invest $15 million to help fight the fires in the Amazon.

Jesse Firempong with Greenpeace Canada says people living in B.C. may think the disaster is so far way that it doesn’t affect them – but it does.

“The emissions released from the Amazon, they don’t stay within national borders. Those emissions are going to be contributing to the climate crisis and we’re feeling the effects of that in B.C.,” she says. “Everyone on the planet is going to be affected in some way by these fires.”

Fires are common in Brazil in the annual dry season, but they are much more widespread this year. Brazilian state experts reported nearly 77,000 wildfires across the country so far this year, up 85% over the same period in 2018.

Firempong says climate aside, the level of deforestation in the Amazon has widespread impact.

RELATED: Brazil military begins operations to fight Amazon fires

“These fires and the threats driving them – they’re not only threats to biodiversity, but they’re also impacting climate change, they’re impacting Indigenous rights in some of the world’s most important areas. And these are things that are also really important to people in British Columbia and that we’ve seen them fighting for here at home.”

So what can British Columbians do to help?

“Protecting the Amazon means thinking globally and acting locally. We know that Canada is a top ten emitter of greenhouse gases. We need to do our part at home by reducing our use of fossil fuels and increasing our response to the climate emergency. That’s one way we can help the Amazon,” Firempong says.

In addition to the money, Canada will also be sending waterbombers and other heavy equipment.

\With files from the Associated Press.