The Government of Guyana has expressed deep concern over the burning of the Amazon rainforest in neighbouring Brazil and is calling for international action to tackle this “crisis.”
“Forest has no borders,” Minister of Natural Resources, Raphael Trotman said at a forum on Friday morning which opened at the Umana Yana, Kingston, Georgetown.
The Amazon rainforest is the world’s largest tropical rainforest and extends to nine nations including Guyana. In Guyana, the rainforest covers 85 percent of the country.
The largest part of the Amazon rainforest is located in Brazil and has seen 74,155 fires between January 1 and August 20, a spike of 85 percent compared to the same period in 2018.
“These seemingly uncontrollable fires could be affecting us tomorrow. We together –the Amazonian states –are regarded as the lungs of the earth and what is happening there will have an effect not just in Brazil or in the Amazon or on the Guiana shield, it will have a global impact,” Minister Trotman said.
Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro in media reports accused foreign leaders, who have expressed concerns, of meddling in the country’s sovereignty.
“We ought not to be standing on issues or platforms of sovereignty,” said Trotman. “This is an international situation…a crisis that needs our attention.”
The Minister pledged Guyana’s help in tackling the issue noting that the resources and skills available at the Guyana Forestry Commission (GFC) and the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC) can be used to assist Brazil.
Deputy Commissioner of the Guyana Forestry Commission (GFC), Gavin Agard in brief remarks called for a moment of silence during Friday’s event for the loss of biodiversity, the displaced forest dwellers and the wanton destruction of the forest.