BRAZIL, 2019

Fires devour a portion of the Amazon rainforest near Porto Velho, capital of the state of Rondônia


© Victor Moriyama / The New York Times


In August 2019, the 45th G7 summit was being held in Biarritz, France. At the same time, on the other side of the world, the Amazon rainforest was going up in flames. Tens of thousands of forest fires blazed, some so massive that the smoke darkened the sky over the city of São Paolo.
Although global warming can contribute to such events, the real culprit, in most cases, is deforestation. For years, farmers have been burning portions of the forest to expand their farmland or pastures, damaging biodiversity and releasing greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. Now realising the seriousness of the situation, public opinion has changed. However, the strategies implemented so far may be insufficient. As is often the case, people are moved to take action only once the damage has already been done, preferring to deal with a problem only once it has become unmanageable, rather than prevent it.
The Amazon rainforest is part of our invaluable natural heritage and should be protected under any circumstances, well before there is a chance of it being attacked, exploited or destroyed. The hope is that the protection measures implemented so far will not only be maintained, but also strengthened.

Stefania Bianco