News Release

Amazon: “Global Emergency” 

MARIA LUISA MENDONÇA, marialuisam222 at gmail.com
Maria Luisa Mendonça, co-director of the Network for Social Justice and Human Rights in Brazil, is currently a visiting scholar at the CUNY Graduate Center in New York City. She recently appeared on an accuracy.org news release: “Why is the Amazon Burning?” and was just interviewed by WNYC.

CHRISTIAN POIRIER, MOIRA BIRSS, via Rania Batrice, rania at amazonwatch.org, @AmazonWatch
Program director of Amazon Watch, Poirier said: “While the raging fires in the Amazon have rightfully grabbed the attention of the G7 leaders, we must ensure a long-term global response that lasts long after these headlines pass.”

“Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro must take immediate, comprehensive steps to not only extinguish these fires but also address the root causes of this environmental catastrophe: the roll-back of environmental and indigenous rights protections and the recklessness of the profit-seeking agribusiness industry.”

“This burden isn’t on the Brazilian government alone. We are all global citizens of our shared planet and must take shared responsibility for its preservation. As such, American and European corporations must take responsibility for their complicity in this tragedy by encouraging and funding deforestation in Brazil. We must keep the pressure on the Brazilian government to ensure the protection of the Amazon and its native peoples, who are on the front lines of defending the rainforest, and look inward to do our part in protecting our rainforests and planet for generations to come.” See his interview on The Real News.

Birss, Amazon Watch’s finance campaign director said: “Indigenous people of the Amazon have been sounding the alarm about risks to the rainforest for years and resisting the destruction — sometimes at the cost of their own lives. Now that the world is finally paying attention, it’s important to also understand that governments and companies around the world are emboldening Bolsonaro’s toxic policies when they enter trade agreements with his government or invest in agribusiness companies operating in the Amazon.”

Leila Salazar-López, the executive director of Amazon Watch, just co-wrote the piece “We are facing a global emergency in the Amazon. Here’s what we can do” for CNN.

See Amazon Watch’s recent reports: “Complicity in Destruction: How northern consumers and financiers sustain the assault on the Brazilian Amazon and its peoples” and Part II.

The group has called for a global day of action targeting Brazilian embassies and offices of corporations profiting from Amazon destruction on Sept. 5.