Brazil’S Battle Against Pantanal Wildfires

(MENAFN- The Rio Times) Marina Silva, Brazil's Environment Minister, recently shared updates on the fight against Pantanal wildfires.

The team has quenched 30 of 54 fires, yet 24 blazes still burn. Efforts focus on those fires, with three just igniting.

Silva leads a robust team from federal and Mato Grosso state governments. They've deployed 830 workers, 15 aircraft, and 15 boats, setting up bases in Corumbá, Poconé, and Porto Conceição.

These crews have flown 395 hours, reaching remote areas. Moreover, 20 raids have pinpointed fire origins, identifying those responsible.

Silva introduced regulations to speed up firefighter hiring and allow foreign pilots to fly in Brazil.

A special task force now targets Pantanal Matogrossense National Park, where fires have increased. Silva aims to bolster resources there.

André de Lima, planning secretary, strives to reduce fire impact within 30 days, aiming below the 3.6 million hectares burned in 2020. Despite a challenging start this June, he is optimistic about reversing the trend.

Agencies like the Brazilian Institute of the Environment and the Chico Mendes Institute support these efforts, along with military and state firefighters.

The recent Fire Management Bill supports this fight, now awaiting federal enactment.

The Pantanal, a vital wetland spanning Brazil, Bolivia, and Paraguay, plays a key role in regional climate and water cycle regulation. Its rich biodiversity includes numerous endangered species.

Following June's emergency declaration due to severe fires damaging 764,800 hectares, the government remains committed to preserving this crucial ecosystem.
In the first half of 2024, the Brazilian Amazon experienced 13,489 fires, a 61% increase from the previous year.

This surge marks the highest number of fires in two decades. Data from the National Institute for Space Research (INPE) show it was the third-worst semester for fires since record-keeping began in 1998.

Only 2003, with 17,143 fires, and 2004, with 17,340 fires, recorded higher numbers. The Amazon's first six months of 2024 saw more fires compared to 8,344 during the same period last year.

Despite this increase in fire , deforestation in the Amazon dropped by 42%. In the first half of 2024, 1,525 square kilometers of rainforest were deforested, compared to the same period in 2023.



The Rio Times

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