US, Brazil agree to Amazon development
Washington, Sep. 14 (IANS): The US and Brazil have agreed to promote private-sector development in the Amazon and has also pledged a $100 million biodiversity conservation fund for the world’s largest rainforest which has been ravaged by massive wildfires.
The developments took place during a meeting here on Friday between Brazilian Foreign Minister Ernesto Araujo and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, the BBC reported.
Addressing the media, Araujo said opening the rainforest to economic development was the only way to protect it, adding that claims the country was “not able to cope with the challenges” were false.
“We want to be together in the endeavour to create development for the Amazon region which we are convinced is the only way to protect the forest.
“So we need new initiatives, new productive initiatives, that create jobs, that create revenue for people in the Amazon and that’s where our partnership with the US will be very important for us,” he said.
Pompeo said the biodiversity investment fund would support businesses in hard to reach areas of the Amazon.
“The Brazilians and the American teams will follow through on our commitment that our presidents made in March. We’re getting off the ground a $100 million, 11-year Impact Investment Fund for Amazon biodiversity conservation and that project will be led by the private sector.”
More than 80,000 fires have broken out in the Amazon rainforest so far this year, the BBC said.
Also on Friday, Finland urged European Union countries to consider stopping importing beef and soybeans from Brazil in order to put pressure on Brazil to tackle the fires.
Last week seven South American countries agreed on measures to protect the Amazon river basin.
Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Peru and Suriname signed a pact, setting up a disaster response network and satellite monitoring.
At a summit in Colombia, they also agreed to work on reforestation.