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Amazon fires lead to worldwide protests over Brazilian government inaction
Demonstrators gathered outside Brazilian embassies to protest against inaction on Amazon fires.

Not the USA

President Trump was upset at Denmark rejecting his idea of buying Greenland
President Trump was upset at Denmark rejecting his idea of buying Greenland. But Denmark has sold territory to the United States before.  The BBC's James Robbins reports.
(Picture: General view of the the town of Kulusuk, in Greenland.
Credit: AFP/Getty)

'When the smoke started my nose began to bleed'

São Paulo is covered by smoke from the Amazon fires
Social-media users in Brazil's São Paulo have been sharing images of a smoke-filled sky across the city.

São Paulo was blackened for around an hour on Monday afternoon after strong winds and a cold front brought in smoke from forest fires burning in the states of the Amazonas and Rondonia, more than 2,700km away.

We spoke to two residents of the city who say that they have been affected by the smoke.

Photo: Darkness descends on Sao Paulo at 16:00 (20:00 GMT) due to smoke from forest fires
Credit: Jeff Nascimento

Kew Gardens director calls for 'sanctions' over Amazon fire

A firefighter works during a wildfire near Robore, Santa Cruz region, eastern Bolivia on August 22, 2019. - Up to now, wildfires in Bolivia have devastated about 745,000 hectares of forests and pasturelands. Neighboring Peru, which contains much of the Amazon basin
Getty Images

A director at Kew Gardens has called for "import sanctions" on Brazil's leadership to combat the fires currently tearing through Amazon rainforest.

Thousands of fires are ravaging the Amazon rainforest in Brazil - the most intense blazes for almost a decade.

The northern states of Roraima, Acre, Rondônia and Amazonas have been particularly badly affected.

Professor Alexandre Antonelli, Director of Science at the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew, said:"The Amazon is the most biodiverse forest on Earth.

"The alarmingly high number of human-triggered fires happening right now in the southern deforestation zone is releasing vast quantities of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere and posing a severe threat to thousands of plant and animal species.

"The so-far unsubstantiated allegations that these fires are being caused by NGOs – whose crucial work in conservation cannot be understated – provide nothing but a distraction from factual evidence.

"This is a matter of deep concern for all people, but as a Brazilian citizen I feel particularly troubled.

"The world’s leaders, industry, and all of us must do all we can to stop this tragedy. Import sanctions of Brazilian produce to decrease demand, consumer boycotts, and soft power provide perfectly legal and demonstrably powerful tools to trigger change.”

Why is the Amazon burning?

Greenpeace says new government policies and farmers are responsible for the fires
Greenpeace has said that new policies introduced by President Bolsonaro to increase agribusiness in the Amazon, have come at the expense of the forest.

The organisation's figures show a 145% increase in fires compared to the same period last year, and the organisation has also called out farmers who they say are deliberately setting parts of the forest alight.

President Bolsonaro said that Brazil is not equipped to fight the fires and cast doubt on the figures showing the rate of deterioration.

Greenpeace forest campaigner, Juman Kubba, explains the role politics has played in the conservation of the Amazon.

Photo: Smoke billows during a fire in an area of the Amazon rainforest near Porto Velho, Rondonia
Credit: Reuters