Brasilia (AFP) – Brazil’s new president Luis Inacio Lula da Silva on Wednesday called on the countries of South America, home to the Amazon rainforest, to join forces to protect a vital resource to combat climate change. .
“Tackling today’s climate problem is necessary to protect humankind on the planet and everyone has a responsibility,” Lula said in an interview with the GloboNews channel.
Lula said he was working to hold meetings with the leaders of Ecuador, Colombia, Peru, Venezuela, Bolivia and French Guiana “so that we can discuss continental policies to protect the Amazon”. .
Lula, who took office for a third term as president on January 1, has been strong in protecting the environment, primarily by increasing protections for the Amazon after the overthrow of surveillance institutions under his far-right predecessor Jair Bolsonaro. vowed to take action.
Agribusiness ally Bolsonaro sparked international protests during his four-year tenure over fire surges and clear-cutting in the Amazon jungle.
Under Bolsonaro, average annual deforestation has increased by 59.5 percent from the past four years and by 75.5 percent from the past decade, according to government statistics.
Experts say the destruction is largely due to farms and land grabbers clearing the jungle for livestock and crops.
Lula, 77, has vowed to end deforestation in the Amazon by 2030. In an interview Wednesday, he said he wanted to create a federal police force that would “act harder” to protect rainforests and strengthen other government agencies.
“We have a commitment to achieve zero deforestation in the Amazon by 2030. I will pursue this with fire and sword,” Lula said.
© 2023 AFP