France and the United Nations called Thursday August 22nd for the protection of the fire-plagued Amazon rainforest as Brazil's right-wing president blamed NGOs for promoting an "environmental psychosis" to damage the country's interests.
UN chief Antonio Guterres said he was "deeply concerned" by the fires in the Amazon.
"In the midst of the global climate crisis, we cannot afford more damage to a major source of oxygen and biodiversity," he said on Twitter. "The Amazon must be protected." He added.
French President Emmanuel Macron said the wildfires were "an international crisis" and called on the globe's most industrialized nations to address it at their summit this weekend.
"Our house is on fire. Literally. The Amazon, the lung of our planet which produces 20% of our oxygen is burning," Macron said on Twitter.
"It is an international crisis. Members of the G7, let's talk in two days about this emergency."
The extent of the area damaged by fires has yet to be determined, but smoke has choked Sao Paulo and several other Brazilian cities in the past week.
Neighboring Peru, which contains much of the Amazon basin, announced it was "on alert" for wildfires spreading from the rainforest in Brazil and Bolivia.