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Resolution Introduced to Fight Amazon Fires

September 25, 2019, 8:21 AM HST
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Sen. Brian Schatz.

US Senators Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i) and Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) have introduced a bipartisan resolution calling for action to quell the fires and stop illegal deforestation in the Amazon rainforest.

The resolution, co-sponsored by US Senators John Kennedy (R-La.) and Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), recognizes the critical role the Amazon plays in the Earth’s climate system and calls on the Brazilian government to strengthen environmental enforcement and end illegal deforestation.

“The fires in the Amazon are a global emergency,” Sen. Schatz said. “This bipartisan resolution reflects that there is no disagreement about that fact. The time for action is now.”

The Amazon accounts for 25% of the carbon that global forests absorb each year. Amazonian ecosystems are also critical to the health of the world’s oceans and the global food chain.

Yet the Brazilian Amazon has lost more than 1,330 square miles of forest cover this calendar year. Enforcement actions by Brazil’s environmental agency fell by 20% during the first six months of 2019 compared to the same period in 2018.

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A copy of the resolution is available online.

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