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  • The municipality of Corumbá, located on the border between the state of Mato Grosso do Sul and Bolivia, is the most damaged.

    The municipality of Corumbá, located on the border between the state of Mato Grosso do Sul and Bolivia, is the most damaged. | Photo: AFP

Published 24 July 2020
Opinion

On Monday and Tuesday this week alone, the satellite images registered 146 new fires, affecting 7,000 hectares.

During the first half of 2020, the fires in Pantanal, the world's most extensive tropical wetlands, reached the highest number ever, according to a report by the National Institute for Space Research (INPE).

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The organization said that from January 1 to July 23, there were 3,682 fires in an area that hosts an ecosystem of hundreds of species, including jaguars, anteaters, and migratory birds. The area is at the southern edge of the Amazon rainforest.

Although the Pantanal stretches across Paraguay, Bolivia, and Brazil, fires affect the Brazilian states of Mato Grosso, particularly, and Mato Grosso do Sul, in the central west of the country.

The municipality of Corumbá, located on the border between the state of Mato Grosso do Sul and Bolivia, is the most damaged. Police authorities have said that some fires are criminal, but others are the result of climate in the region.

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"In Mato Grosso do Sul, the Pantanal biome suffers from fires. There are already more than three thousand fires this year, according to the National Institute for Space Research."

The numbers published by INPE are the highest since fires started to be recorded back in 1998. The last outbreak of such magnitude occurred in 2018 when INPE reported 1,691 fires.

INPE explained that on Monday and Tuesday this week alone, the satellite images recorded 146 new fires, affecting 7,000 hectares.

On July 16, 2020, the government of Brazil issued a decree prohibiting the burnings in the national territory during 120 days as authorities said that the measured aimed at reducing fires during the drought period.

Inside de Pantanal region is located in the protected area of the Pantanal Matogrossense National Park. However, it is estimated that 99 percent of the Pantanal area is privately owned for agriculture and ranching.

 

   

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