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  • Bolivian workers mobilize to put out the fires affecting the Amazon

    Bolivian workers mobilize to put out the fires affecting the Amazon | Photo: ABI

Published 27 August 2019

Bolivia has significantly stepped up efforts to combat fires that have affected the country, especially in the tri border area between Brazil and Paraguay. 

The President of the UN General Assembly María Fernanda Espinosa has met with Bolivia’s UN ambassador, and praised Bolivia’s efforts in combating the Amazon fires that have affected Brazil, Bolivia, Peru and Paraguay. The comments come amid criticism leveled at Bolsonaro for inaction, while Bolivia has been praised for mobilizing large efforts to help extinguish fires in their country.

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Evo Morales Calls for UN Assembly to Address Amazon Fires

“It has been a pleasure meeting with @SachaLlorenti @Bolivia_ONU to whom I reiterated my concerns about forest fires in the Amazon. I recognize the government of Evo Morales for the efforts they have mobilized, and for helping to promote a regional and global response. The UNGA is always ready to provide support.” said the UNGA president in a post on twitter. 

Responding via Twitter, Bolivian President Evo Morales said, “We thank our sister @mfespinosaEC, president of the General Assembly of the @ONU_en, for her expression of support, and for her recognition of the joint efforts that Bolivians have made in our struggle to quell the fire in the Chiquitania. #UnityInAdversity”

Bolivia has significantly stepped up efforts to combat fires that have affected the country, especially in the tri border area between Brazil and Paraguay. 

On Sunday, Morales announced that the government had mobilized “2,000 soldiers and 450 police firefighters who along with volunteers are supported by 4 helicopters, three planes and the Supertanker who are working to control the fire. We will continue to reinforce these operations”

Then on Monday, it was announced that the number of those mobilized against the fire had gone up to 4000. This includes firefighters, soldiers, police, volunteers and veterinarians to treat displaced animals.

The government has also set out plans to purchase the ‘supertanker’ that they are currently leasing. The ‘Supertanker’ is a Boeing 747, thought to be the world's largest air tanker, capable of carrying 150,000 litres of water, equivalent to around 100 regular air tankers. 

Some progress has been reported, the government announced a significant reduction in heat areas, and Morales confirmed that the ‘Supertanker’ had managed to halt the advance of the fire and stop it spreading to the “Tucavaca” ecological reserve, which is 262.305 hectares and which the fire in the Chiquitania area was expected to reach.

In contrast to the efforts of Bolivia’s progressive government, Brazil’s far-right President Jair Bolsonaro has done little to combat the fires, rejecting an offer from the G7 to help fund firefighting efforts, and sharing a fake image of what his government is supposedly doing to combat the fires. 

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