Brazil’s President-elect Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva told a cheering crowd at a United Nations climate conference on Wednesday that he would combat illegal deforestation in the Amazon, restore ties with countries that finance forest conservation and protect the rainforest. I want to hold the upcoming World Climate Summit.
In two presentations, Lula laid out his vision for managing the world’s largest rainforest, which is vital in the fight against climate change, in contrast to the position of outgoing President Jair Bolsonaro, whose government he saw as the fastest deforestation in decades. was registered. In the largest country of Latin America.
“If the Amazon is not protected there will be no climate security,” Lula said, adding that all crimes committed against the forest in his country, from illegal logging to mining, would be fought “relentlessly”.
Brazilian presidents have broad powers to monitor and regulate the Amazon.
The Ministry of the Environment oversees the Brazilian Institute for the Environment and Renewable Natural Resources, known as IBAMA, which patrols the forest. The Federal Police operates throughout Brazil, including states with large forest areas, and intervention by the armed forces is also possible.
Bolsonaro, who has championed development in both his speeches and pro-business policies, has taken a number of security-weakening measures. For example, he appointed people from the agro-industrial sector as forest administrators, opposed the creation of protected areas such as indigenous territories, and demanded legalization of stolen land.
Many Brazilian experts have argued that these changes have opened the door to a wider criminal crackdown: between August 2020 and July 2021, the area of deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon reached its greatest extent in 15 years, according to official data. Reached Satellite monitoring suggests this year’s trend will exceed that of 2021.
The Amazon rainforest, which spans several South American countries, combats climate change by absorbing large amounts of carbon dioxide. It is also home to some of the most unusual animals and plants in the world, as well as the various tribes that have lived there for thousands of years.
Lula stressed the symbolic and practical importance of the discussions at COP27 in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and helping developing countries deal with the consequences of climate change. Deforestation in Brazil decreased significantly during his presidency from 2003 to 2010.
Lula said that the 2025 UN climate summit should be held in the Amazon so that “the people who protect the Amazon and the climate can get to know the region closer.” He said he would propose the initiative to the UN leadership this week.
In both speeches, Lula repeatedly criticized Bolsonaro, whom he defeated in October’s elections. He will assume the presidency on January 1.
Brazil cannot remain isolated like the last four years. (Brazilian officials) didn’t travel to any other country, and they didn’t travel to Brazil from other countries,” he said.
Lula also addressed the rulers of the world in strong words. They noted a commitment made during the 2009 climate summit to contribute $100 billion per year to help developing countries adapt to the consequences of climate change. That effort was never fully funded.
“I don’t know how many rich country representatives are here,” Lula said, pausing, smiling and looking at the crowd. “I want to say that my return here is also what was promised for the taking.”
Without giving details, Lula said his government would work with Congo and Indonesia, which together with Brazil have the world’s largest tropical rainforests.
Despite Lula’s ambitious promises, his government has an uphill task ahead. While many people, especially environmentalists and officials at the summit, swear to protect the Amazon, Brazil’s rulers have traditionally faced intense development pressure.
These come from sectors such as agriculture and mining, as well as many residents of the Amazon who feel it is up to them to decide how the forest is managed.
NASA scientist and forestry expert Sasan Saatchi said many things are needed to effectively stop deforestation, from strong governance to economic initiatives that provide opportunities for people living in the Amazon.
“There is no magic bullet,” said Saatchi, who is attending the climate conference. “The question is how to put those things together.”
Da Silva has scheduled several meetings with ministers from different countries in the coming days.
Lula met with US climate envoy John Kerry on Tuesday night. On Wednesday, Kerry said he was glad Lula “talked about doing things right forever, about uniting people to preserve the Amazon.”
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