The African Network of Environmental Journalists (Anej) has urged African governments and the international community particularly the United Nations and the European Union to urgently stop the “massacre” of the Amazon rainforest in South America.
Wildfires have been ravaging the world’s largest rainforest for about three weeks and the world appears powerless to witness a climate tragedy, in the light of the fact that the expansive forest contributes to producing 20% of oxygen in the atmosphere.
In a statement titled “Amazon Declaration” and made available to EnviroNews on Saturday, August 31, 2019, Anej, through its president, Sidi El Moctar Cheiguer, expressed concern over the burning Amazon, even as he beckoned on the world to reconsider the sovereignty of Brazil over the Amazon.
“In the face of this tragedy of an unprecedented scale, the whole world must mobilise itself because Amazonia is a heritage that affects all of humanity,” he stated, adding that United Nations and the European Union have shown in many ways their concern for the environment.
He went further: “Due to the photosynthesis of its huge forest reserves, Amazonia provides more than a quarter of the oxygen we breathe, it contains more than 12% of the world’s freshwater reserves and more than one-tenth of all living species listed so far and all these are essential for biodiversity.
“In conjunction with the tropical forest basin of Congo and Indonesia, these three forests constitute the green belt around the globe and so allow humans to flourish as well as the flora and fauna.
“Since coming to power, the Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has been tirelessly grabbing space for the omnipotent Brazilian agro-business industry that promotes extensive livestock farming. Her irresponsible governance of the environment is a scandal in which the world must mobilise to tackle.”
Established February 25, 2005 in Nairobi, Kenya by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), Anej has reportedly played a crucial role in global environmental circles by its network of members in 48 African countries.