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The Debate

While the Amazon burns: Brazil, France feud over response to spreading fires

What happens when the world's largest rainforest burns? It's too soon to tell, but as vast swathes of the Amazon go up in smoke, Brazil's far-right president has angrily rejected his French counterpart's G7 summit offer of €20 million in emergency aid and troops to assist firefighters.

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Does Jair Bolsonaro have a point when he accuses Emmanuel Macron of treating his nation like a colony or a no-man's land? A social media jibe at the French first lady doesn't help Bolsonaro's case. Nor does his decision to put the agriculture ministry in charge of the Amazon.

But have the French fared any better in their own Amazonian possession? After all, the Macron government has approved feasibility studies for developing French Guiana. More broadly, how have Europeans done in managing their own forests?

It's about saving not just the Amazon but all of the planet's rainforests, with their tempering effect on climate and the invaluable variety of plants and animals that make life on Earth possible.

Produced by Andrew HILLIAR, Juliette LAURAIN and Van MEGUERDITCHIAN.

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