Amazon wildfires: Resolution remains elusive as world leaders meet at the G7 summit

Leaders of the world's top economies are talking about the Amazon wildfires as the rainforest continues to burn, but a resolution remains elusive.

The rainforest is vital for the health of the planet, but not vital enough for it to top the agenda at the G7 summit in France.

The world needs the Amazon - and right now, the Amazon needs the world. 

It needs leaders of the world's richest economies to make it a top priority.

"The excruciating scenes we've seen in the Amazon... We need to escalate at the G7 the tragedy inflicted on natural habitats," said UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

This is Johnson's first G7 summit - the annual gathering of the UK, the United States, Japan, Germany, Canada, Italy and France - but the Amazon's competing with other issues. 

While the leaders meet and smile for the cameras - and while Johnson gets a little lost on his way to a banquet dinner - the lungs of the world burn. Hundreds of thousands of hectares have been wiped out. In the last week alone, nearly 10,000 new fires have started, believed to be intentional to make way for agricultural development.

Outside the summit in Biarritz, a symbolic fire burns, urging action from the G7 leaders. Other protests are becoming violent, with riot police forcefully trying to shut them down. 

Outside Brazil's embassy in London, protesters took aim at President Jair Bolsonaro for encouraging mining and farming in the Amazon.

The President has deployed the army to parts of the rainforest, not just to help with the fire, but to help those suffering from smoke inhalation.

Despite needing more help, Brazil is yet to accept US President Donald Trump's offer of aid via Twitter.

In Bolivia, a 747 supertanker is fighting the flames from above, but the efforts aren't enough as the forest burns at a rate of one rugby field every minute.

Timing is everything. There needs to be a more urgent focus from these powerful nations on stopping this destruction.


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