Delegates from various countries are convening in Belém, Brazil, for a two-day summit aimed at addressing deforestation concerns in the Amazon region. Despite the gathering’s objectives, climate activists are expressing disappointment over what they view as a lack of substantive action in the joint declaration issued on Tuesday.
The declaration established an alliance among participating nations to combat deforestation; however, it notably left individual countries to pursue their own conservation goals without clear, unified mandates. Critics argue that the absence of concrete measures is particularly concerning given the current state of environmental urgency.
Amidst the ongoing impact of rising global temperatures and record-breaking heatwaves, climate advocates assert that the agreement falls short of addressing the pressing issue of deforestation in the Amazon. Márcio Astrini of the Climate Observatory group emphasized the need for stronger language and firm commitments, stating that “temperature records are broken every day, it’s not possible that under those circumstances, the eight presidents of the Amazon nations can’t include a line in the declaration stating, in bold letters, that deforestation needs to be zero, that it won’t be tolerated anymore.”
The Amazon rainforest, recognized as the world’s largest, spans multiple nations, with approximately 60% located within Brazil. Besides Brazil, the summit attendees include representatives from Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Peru, Suriname, and Venezuela.
Preserving the Amazon ecosystem is integral to global efforts aimed at combatting climate change. Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, who hosted the summit, previously called for a shared objective of eradicating deforestation by 2030. Despite this call to action, the perceived lack of decisive measures in the joint declaration has prompted concerns about the efficacy of addressing the critical environmental challenges posed by deforestation in the Amazon.