By James Blears
Bewilderment, as Brazil's Ministry of Environment announced that the Government is halting funds to tackle de-forestation, which constantly threatens the Amazon Rainforest and the Pantanal Wetlands, with all of this taking effect on Monday.
It blames the decision on Federal budget strictures, which blocked the equivalent of 11 million dollars assigned for the rescue project.
Not so fast...as Brazil's Vice President Hamilton Mourao promptly waded in, accusing Minister of the Environment Ricardo Salles of jumping the gun, stressing President Jair Bolsanaro is actually pushing for extra funding to bolster and boost the anti deforestation program.
Outflanked and singed, the Ministry of Environment promptly backed down, accomplished a lightning U-turn, and rescinded its directive.
And not a moment too soon, because the Pantanal Wetlands, a giant season flood plain, which is the largest of its kind in the World, encompassing 81 thousand square miles covering Brazil, Paraguay and Bolivia, has been burning up with wildfires at a record rate for many weeks.
The Amazon rain forest which is also constantly under threat due to illegal logging and wildfires, covers 2.7 million miles and nine countries with 390 billion trees and 16,000 species. Sixty percent of it is in Brazil. It acts as one of the lungs of the entire Planet.