While world leaders gather their resources to fight the forest fires devastating the Amazon rainforest in Brazil, satellite images from NASA have revealed a similar hell in South Africa.
The burning forests cover an area of more than a million square miles in the Congo Basin, often described as the & # 39; second green lung & # 39; from the planet after the Amazon itself.
Like the Amazon, African forests absorb CO2 and are sanctuaries for endangered species.
Under pressure from environmentalists, G7 leaders hurried this week to take action against the Amazon fire, but the African fires have attracted less attention.
However, French President Emmanuel Macron stated yesterday that & # 39; the forest is also burning in sub-Saharan Africa & # 39; and said that world leaders investigated a reaction similar to that they had agreed for Brazil.
This NASA image shows fires raging just as strongly in sub-Saharan Africa as in the Amazon rainforest in South America, where the fires have attracted worldwide attention
On Monday a fire burns along the road to Jacunda National Forest in Brazil. G7 countries have pledged $ 20 million to the Amazon, primarily on fire extinguishers
The African forests include various countries, including the Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon, Congo, Cameroon and Madagascar.
According to Weather Source, there were more fires in a 48-hour period in Angola than in Brazil last week. The same was true for Congo.
& # 39; The forest is burning in Africa, but not for the same reasons & # 39 ;, said Tosi Mpanu Mpanu, an ambassador and climate negotiator for DR Congo.
& # 39; In the Amazon, the forest burns mainly due to drought and climate change, but in central Africa it is mainly due to agricultural techniques. & # 39;
Many farmers use slash and burn farming to cut down forests. In DR Congo, only nine percent of the population has access to electricity and many people use wood for cooking and energy.
DR Congo president Felix Tshisekedi has warned that the rain forests will be threatened if the country does not improve its hydropower capacity.
Deforestation is also a risk in Gabon and parts of the DR Congo, as well as damage from mining and oil projects.
The African forests include various countries, including the Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon, Congo, Cameroon and Madagascar
The Amazon fires (photo) over & # 39; the world's largest rainforest, which experts have attributed to rampant deforestation, have caused a worldwide protest
Firefighters work on Monday to put out fires along the way to Jacunda National Forest, near the city of Porto Velho in Brazil
Brazilian leader Raoni Metuktire, center, a figurehead of the fight against deforestation in the Amazon, arrives yesterday for a press conference in France
Nevertheless, some experts and politicians have urged caution when comparing the situations in Africa and South America.
Many of Africa's fires on NASA maps are located outside of sensitive rainforest areas, analysts say.
& # 39; The question now is to what extent we can compare, & # 39; said Philippe Verbelen, a Greenpeace forester working on the Congo Basin.
& # 39; Fire is a normal thing in Africa. It is part of a cycle, people in the dry season put out bushes instead of dense, moist rainforest. & # 39;
Guillaume Lescuyer, an expert in Central Africa at the French research and development center for agriculture, CIRAD, also said that the fires on NASA images burned mainly outside the rainforest.
Angola's government also insisted on caution and said that rapid comparisons with the Amazon could lead to & # 39; wrong information about more reckless spirits & # 39 ;.
G7 countries have pledged $ 20 million to the Amazon, primarily on fire extinguishers.
Monday a fire burns along a road in the Amazon. Some experts and politicians have urged caution when comparing the situations in Africa and South America
Brazilian farmer Aurelio Andrade and a dog walk on Monday through a burnt area of the Amazon rainforest, near Porto Velho
A political row over the forest fires in the Amazon fell yesterday in a personal row between Presidents Emmanuel Macron and Jair Bolsonaro (shown together in June)
& # 39; We must respond to the call of the forest burning in the Amazon today, & # 39; Macron said at the G7 summit.
President Sebastian Pinera of Chile, who was also at the meeting in Biarritz, said: "Amazon countries are in urgent need of fire brigades and water bombers."
Environmentalists say the Western world has been too slow to respond to the fires in the Amazon.
Since the beginning of the year, nearly 80,000 forest fires have been discovered in Brazil – just over half in the vast Amazon basin.
Macron has threatened to block a huge new trade agreement between the EU and Latin America unless Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, a skeptic of climate change, takes serious steps to protect the rapidly shrinking forest against logging and mining.
Bolsonaro lashed out at the French leader for his criticism and suggested that NGOs could light the fire to embarrass him without providing any evidence.
Their line fell in personal attacks when Bolsonaro approved a sexist Facebook message about France's 66-year-old first lady Brigitte Macron.
A Bolsonaro supporter shared a meme who mocked Mrs. Macron's appearance and compared her unfavorably to 37-year-old first lady Michelle Bolsonaro in Brazil.
The right-wing Brazilian leader, 64, replied: & # 39; Don't humiliate the man, ha ha & # 39 ;, referring to the French president.
Macron destroyed the & # 39; extremely rude & # 39; Bolsonaro in response.
Bolsonaro then hit back and accused Macron of treating Brazil as & # 39; a colony or no man's land & # 39 ;.
A Bolsonaro supporter placed this meme, mocking Brigitte Macron, 66, and compared it unfavorably with 37-year-old Michelle Bolsonaro in Brazil. It says: & # 39; Do you now understand why Macron is suing Bolsonaro? & # 39; The far-right Brazilian leader replied: & # 39; Don't humiliate the man, ha ha & # 39 ;, referring to Mr. Macron
Bolsonaro, pictured with his wife, endorsed a post on social media in which Mr. Macron's wife was unfavorably compared to his own wife Michelle, pictured with the Brazilian leader in January
The French president (pictured on Saturday with wife Brigitte at the G7 in Biarritz, France) accused Bolsonaro of saying "very disrespectful things about my wife".
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