Brazilians march for Amazon fires, call for forest protection

Source: Xinhua| 2019-08-24 12:52:59|Editor: Xiaoxia
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RIO DE JANEIRO, Aug. 23 (Xinhua) -- Thousands of Brazilians marched on Friday evening in several cities in an organized act to defend the Amazon rainforest which has been hit by massive fires recently.

In cities like Rio, Sao Paulo and Brasilia, protesters called for actions to protect the Amazon rainforest from predatory exploration and destruction.

Earlier this week, Sao Paulo witnessed a strange atmospheric phenomenon, as the sky turned dark in the middle of the afternoon, mostly under the impact of the smoke of the forest fires carried by wind currents.

Protesters also criticized the government's recent actions on the environment and called for the deposition of Environment Minister Ricardo Salles, whose job has been severely criticized.

Opposition leaders filed on Thursday a petition to impeach the minister, alleging that his acts are contrary to the demands of his position.

The fires in the Amazon rainforest region also led to protests abroad. Earlier in the day, there were protests outside Brazilian embassies and consulates in several major cities, including London, Berlin, Madrid and Mumbai.

According to Brazil's National Institute for Space Research, forest fires in Brazil increased 82 percent from January to August 2019 compared with the same period last year, and over half of those fires occurred in the Amazon rainforest.

The U.S. space agency NASA also said that this year, the region has seen the most fires in this decade.