Eight South American countries that share the Amazon basin have agreed to launch an alliance to fight deforestation and preserve the world’s largest tropical rainforest. The leaders of Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Guyana, Suriname and French Guiana signed a joint declaration at a summit in Leticia, a Colombian city on the border with Brazil and Peru, on August 8, 2023.
The declaration states that the countries will work together to “coordinate actions for the conservation and sustainable use of the Amazon” and “prevent it from reaching a point of no return”. The alliance will also seek to promote the rights and participation of the indigenous people who live in the Amazon, as well as to enhance scientific cooperation and technological innovation.
The summit was also a preparation for the 2025 UN climate talks, which will be hosted by Belem, the city at the mouth of the Amazon river. The regional countries hope to present a common position and a joint action plan at the global conference, which aims to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.
However, some environmental groups and experts have expressed doubts about the effectiveness of the alliance, noting that it lacks concrete targets and commitments. They also pointed out that some of the countries have not yet adopted some of the ambitious pledges made by Brazil and Colombia, such as ending illegal deforestation by 2030 and banning new oil exploration in the Amazon. They urged the countries to take more decisive and urgent actions to save the rainforest before it is too late.