Colombian President Gustavo Petro on Tuesday called on Egypt to form a coalition to protect the Amazon basin, which is crucial for balancing the global climate. In Brazil alone, deforestation has increased by 18% between 2020 and 2021, according to a new report by the NGO WWF. His Venezuelan counterpart Nicolas Maduro joined Petro’s call. However, beyond good intentions, various economic activities will have to be stopped to stop Amazon deforestation.
Deforestation in the Amazon is getting worse and to reverse this trend, Colombian President Gustavo Petro called for “reviving the Amazon”, which he described as “the sponge that absorbs the most CO2 on the continent”. described in. The Colombian president announced that his country would devote $200 million annually to protecting the Amazon forest. Petro received the support of his Venezuelan counterpart Nicolas Maduro to coordinate a regional initiative.
However, although the Colombian president has promised to suspend oil exploration, his Venezuelan counterpart has been seeking to reactivate oil production and fuel the controversial Orinoco mining arc since 2016. A mining extraction project covering 70,000 sq km of forest.
“To the extent that Colombia, which is currently producing more oil than Venezuela, reduces or does not grant new concessions to Venezuela, we will be in the current growth model. This will lead to an increase in oil dependence and a mining-extracting economy. will,” says Antonio de Licio, geographer and coordinator of the Alliance for Climate Action in Venezuela.
“We have always had gold within valuable resources. However, a megaproject like the Orinoco Mining Ark was never achieved and the damage that mining extract is causing to protected natural areas of the Amazon and Venezuelan Guiana, “He insisted.
In addition to oil and mining extraction in Venezuela, Ecuador, Peru and Colombia, the Amazon rainforest suffers from illegal logging, mainly in Peru, and deforestation and burning to expand crops and livestock, mainly in Brazil. It will be the biggest environmental challenge for President Lula, who begins his term in January, Ricardo Galvao, a professor of physics at the University of So Paulo and former director of the INEP Satellite Observation Institute, tells RFI.
“There are about 29 criminal groups operating in the Amazon, not just in Brazil. Lula must first have a very strong cooperation with the presidents of Colombia, Bolivia and Peru in order to gain control over all the activities of criminal groups. Secondly. A very important part is to achieve sustainable development in the Amazon because there are over 30 million people living there,” Galvao estimates.
Following Lula’s election victory, Norway announced it was ready to resume its considerable financial support to protect an aid suspended during the presidency of far-right Jair Bolsonaro. Lula’s return to the presidency raises hope for those who want to protect the Amazon.