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G7 Commits $29 Million To Help Amazon

G7 countries have agreed to an immediate $29.6 million fund to help Amazon countries fight wildfires and launch a long-term global initiative to protect the rainfores

The announcement came from French President Emmanuel Macron, the host of this year's meeting of G7 leaders, and the Chilean President Sebastian Pinera.

Photo: Getty

Macron said that the Amazon represents the "lungs" of the planet and that leaders were studying the possibility of similar support in Africa, also suffering from fires in its rainforests.

READ MORE: Amazon Rainforest Fires: What Is Being Done?

READ MORE: Brazil Army Deployed To Fight Amazon Fires After International Outcry

Macron said the US supported the initiative, although he acknowledged that US President Donald Trump had skipped Monday's working session on the environment.

A tract of Amazon jungle burns as it is being cleared by loggers and farmers in Novo Airao IMAGE: Reuters

Satellites have recorded more than 41,000 fires in the Amazon region so far this year - with more than half of those coming this month alone. Experts say most of the fires are set by farmers or ranchers clearing existing farmland.

The French President isn't backing down in his ongoing dispute with Brazil's leader.

Macron has threatened to block a European trade deal with Brazil and other South American countries over the Amazon wildfires and what he has described as Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro's lies over containing deforestation.

Photo: Reuters

The back and forth deteriorated over the weekend when Bolsonaro endorsed a Facebook post insulting Macron's wife, Brigitte.

Macron also accused him of missing a scheduled meeting with the French foreign minister in favour of a barber appointment and reiterated that Bolsonaro had lied to him.

Macron said: "It's sad. First for him and for the Brazilians."

He said Brazilian women "are doubtless ashamed to read that about their president" and that he hoped the country would soon have a president who could behave according to the standards of the office.