Amazon nations to set up rainforest science panel

The countries will meet next week for a summit on cooperation to save the rainforest

A view of the Amazon rainforest at the lagoon of the Yasuni National Park in the Pastaza province

Amazon countries meeting next week for a summit on cooperation to save the rainforest aim to set up a scientific body like the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) to share research, Brazil’s environment minister said.

“The idea is to have a scientific panel for the Amazon with scientists from different countries, along the lines of the IPCC,” Marina Silva said in an interview on Thursday.

The panel would help produce sustainable development policies for the countries of the region while remaining independent of governments, and monitor the impact of climate change on the Amazon rainforest and ecosystem, she said.

It would also seek to determine the limits of what scientists call the “point of no return” when the rainforest is damaged beyond repair.

Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva said on Wednesday that leaders of the eight countries in the Amazon Cooperation Treaty Organization (ACTO) would seek to draw up a common policy for the first time to protect the rainforest.

Marina Silva said the meeting on Aug. 8-9 in Belem, at the mouth of the Amazon river, was long overdue.

“The summit took 14 years to assemble. This is unacceptable, given everything that is happening in the world, the speed of changes occurring to the detriment of the Amazon and its inhabitants, and the dynamics of global geopolitics on the climate issue,” she said.

Lula has overhauled Brazil’s environment policies since taking office in January, succeeding far-right president Jair Bolsonaro, who relaxed protection of the environment and encouraged development of the Amazon, where deforestation soared.

Preliminary government figures showed on Thursday that deforestation in Brazil’s Amazon fell in July to its lowest level since 2017, boosting Lula’s credibility on environmental policy ahead of the summit.

– Reuters


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