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Sao Paulo, Brazil, Aug 23, 2019 / 04:23 pm (CNA).- Catholics groups in the Amazon have expressed concern over the wave of forest fires that have been ravaging the region.
The NGO Manos Unidas decried the “risks and assaults the Amazon is suffering, which bring with them an accelerated deforestation, toward the increasingly closer point of ‘no return,’ at which time the disappearance of this ‘green lung’ of humanity will already be irreversible.”
Statement - Webpage - Group - Situation - Brazil
In a statement posted on their webpage, the group reported that the situation is especially serious in Brazil, where in 2019 alone the number of wildfires has increased 82% for a total of 71,497 fires, 54% of which are in the Amazon region.
The NGO considers this especially serious within the context of climate change since “the variations in the rainfall cycles and temperatures are already seriously altering the ecosystems.”
Fires - Weeks - Threats - Amazon - Impact
The fires that have occurred in recent weeks add to other “threats to the Amazon” and that have a special impact “in the most deforested areas, where economic interests meet the most weakened natural environments,” they said.
Manos Unidas warned that the area is also threatened by “the uncontrolled exploitation of natural resources to obtain minerals or fuels and the extension of the agricultural frontier for single crop farming or extensive livestock production.”
Secretary - General - Mexican - Bishops - Conference
The Secretary General of the Mexican Bishops’ Conference, Bishop Alonso Miranda, expressed the Church’s concern and called for support with prayers and material aid.
On Twitter, Bishop Miranda said that the forest fires “are not just a regional emergency, it’s a catastrophe that urgently requires international aid.”
Please - Support - Prayer - Material - Aid
“Please, let us lend our support with prayer, national and international material and technological aid,” he said.
In addition to natural causes, many of the blazes begin when farmers start fires to clear or maintain farmland and pastures.
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