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Record Amazon Rainforest Blazes in Brazil UPSC NOTE


  • Brazil's Amazon rainforest experienced its largest fires on record in the first four months of the year.

  • More than 12,000 square kilometers burned between January and April, the most in over two decades of data.

Government Spending and Blame:

  • The environmental workers union, Ascema, partially blames lower government spending on firefighting for the fires.

  • This year's budget for the environmental agency Ibama to fight fires is 24% lower than in 2023.

  • Brazil's President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva aims to protect the Amazon rainforest and restore Brazil as a leader in climate policy.

Importance of the Amazon:

  • The Amazon, the world's largest rainforest, is crucial for curbing global warming due to the vast amount of greenhouse gases it absorbs.

Contributing Factorsc of forest fire:

  • A record drought driven by the El Nino climate phenomenon and global warming has created dry conditions fueling the fires.

  • Fires in the Amazon are generally ignited by people seeking to clear land for agriculture.

Firefighting Efforts and Challenges:

  • The Amazon fund, with donations from foreign governments, allocated 405 million reais ($79.4 million) for state-level firefighting under Lula's administration.

  • The federal government deployed about 380 firefighters to Roraima, the hardest-hit state.

  • Brazilian Institute of Environment and Renewable Natural Resources (Ibama's)  firefighting budget cuts have been significant, with no immediate response from the agency or the environment ministry regarding these cuts.

  • Ibama agents have suspended fieldwork since January, seeking better pay and working conditions.

  • Ascema has rejected the latest government offer and demands larger salary increases after over a decade of minimal increases and staff reductions.

  • While the area burned is a record for the first four months, it is still less than what typically burns during the peak dry season from August to November.

Preventive Measures:

  • Ascema President Cleberson Zavaski emphasized the need for total engagement from environmental workers to avoid an unprecedented catastrophe.

  • Manoela Machado, a fire researcher, highlighted the importance of prevention efforts, such as raising awareness about ignitions, creating firebreaks, and conducting prescribed burns, which depend on employing people with stable conditions.



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Learnerz IAS | Concept oriented UPSC Classes in Malayalam: Record Amazon Rainforest Blazes in Brazil UPSC NOTE
Record Amazon Rainforest Blazes in Brazil UPSC NOTE
Learnerz IAS | Concept oriented UPSC Classes in Malayalam
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