Pope Francis, the Catholic Pontiff, has called on the world populace to pray for the Amazon region after the rainforest has been engulfed in a sporadic and continuous wildfire.
The Pope’s call for prayers comes just as Jair Bolsonaro, Brazil’s President, has finally sent troops to quench the fire weeks after his initial disapproval of demands from world leaders and global environmental campaigners to get the state involved in the situation.
Offering prayers for the region during his weekly address in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican on Sunday, Pope Francis said the world must work together to extinguish the fires ravaging the rainforest.
”Let us pray that they may be tamed as soon as possible with the efforts of all,” the supreme leader of the over two billion Catholics globally said.
Swathes of the Amazon are burning at a rapid rate, sparking fears about the potential impact it could have on the battle against climate change.
Following threats by Emmanuel Macron, the French President, to call for a European Union sanction against Brazil, President Bolsonaro on Saturday announced that it was deploying tens of thousands of troops to help fight the wildfires.
President Bolsonaro had last week accused non-governmental agencies operating in Brazil of deliberately setting up the Amazon on fire in order to criticise his government over its purported lack of action to protect the environment.
He, however, failed to provide evidence to substantiate his claims.
On the other hand, Environmental campaign groups have accused the Brazilian government of being lackadaisical towards quenching the wildfires due to its desire to open more of the rainforest to mining and agriculture.