'Fallacy' to say Amazon is the heritage of humankind: Bolsonaro

2 min

United Nations (United States) (AFP)

Brazil's far-right President Jair Bolsonaro, who has come under attack for wildfires that are raging in the Amazon, told the United Nations Tuesday that the rainforest is his country's sovereign territory.

"It is a fallacy to say that the Amazon is the heritage of humankind, and a misconception confirmed by scientists to say that our Amazon forests are the lungs of the world," he said.

Bolsonaro then hit out at detractors, saying that while every country had problems, sensational reporting in the international media "aroused our patriotic sentiments."

"Using and resorting to these fallacies, certain countries, instead of helping ... behaved in a disrespectful manner and with a colonialist spirit," he said.

"They even called into question that which we hold as a most sacred value, our sovereignty."

He also defended his record on the treatment of indigenous people and said many backed him.

"Some people both inside and outside Brazil, supported by NGOs ... have insisted on treating and keeping our Indians as though they were real cave men," he said.

Bolsonaro's presence in New York has sparked several protests.

On Tuesday morning, some held a demonstration near the UN, holding a giant puppet and placards like "Bolsonaro, your hatred is not welcome here" and "Bolsonaro, a threat to the Earth."

More were planned in front of his hotel this evening.