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Biarritz, Aug 26 (AFP) The G7 has agreed to spend 20 million euros (USD 22 million) on the Amazon, mainly to send fire-fighting aircraft to tackle the huge blazes engulfing the world’s biggest rainforest, the presidents of France and Chile announced Monday.

The G7 club — comprising Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States — has also agreed to support a medium-term reforestation plan which will be unveiled at the UN in September, France’s Emmanuel Macron and Chile’s Sebastian Pinera said at the G7 summit in southwest France.

Brazil would have to agree to any reforestation plan, as would local communities.

The initiative was announced after G7 leaders meeting in the resort of Biarritz held talks on the environment, which focused on the fires destroying chunks of the Amazon.

Macron had made the issue one of the summit’s priorities, and threatened to block a huge new trade deal between the EU and Latin America unless Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, a climate change sceptic, takes serious steps to protect the Amazon.

“We must respond to the call of the forest which is burning today in the Amazon,” he said.

Nearly 80,000 forest fires have been detected in Brazil since the beginning of the year, a little over half in the Amazon region.

Under pressure from the international community to save a crucial area for maintaining a stable global climate, Bolsonaro finally deployed on Sunday two C-130 Hercules aircraft to douse the fires. (AFP)



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