Amazon rainforest requires global funding for protection: Lula
Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva says financing the rainforest and those who live in it is the only way to protect the last remaining lung of the world.
As major rainforest nations demanded hundreds of billions of dollars in climate financing and more involvement in how those resources get spent, the Brazilian president, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, urged wealthy countries to "put their money where their mouth is," with regard to protecting the world's remaining tropical forests.
During the environmental summit in the Amazon city of Belém, Lula said “It’s not Brazil that needs money. It’s not Colombia that needs money. It’s not Venezuela. It’s nature,” adding that after centuries of polluting the atmosphere, industrialized countries "now need to pay their bit to restore part of that which was wrecked.”
Lula then again stressed that “It’s nature that needs money. It’s nature that needs financing.”
52% of the world's principal tropical forests remain across Brazil, Indonesia, and the DRC; these massive carbon sinks are essential to initiatives seeking to slow down global warming.
The leaders of those nations reiterated their commitment to decreasing deforestation and finding solutions to balance economic success and environmental conservation in a proclamation titled "United For Our Forests." The leaders expressed their concern about the developed world's inability to reach mitigation goals and follow through on its promise to contribute $100 billion annually toward climate funding, pushing for that amount to increase to $200 billion by 2030.
"If they want to effectively preserve what is left of the forests, they must spend money – not just to take care of the canopy of the trees but to take care of the people who live beneath that canopy and who want to work, to study and to eat and … to live decently," said Lula adding that "It’s by taking care of these people that we will take care of the forest."
Deforestation in decline under Lula
Brazil, which controls about 60% of the Amazon, has promised to end illicit deforestation by 2030 and is urging other nations to do the same.
Cattle ranching is the principal cause of deforestation, but it is also fueled by a murky combination of land grabs, corruption, and organized crime, whose tentacles also reach the illicit trade in drugs, weapons, gold, and lumber.
The destruction has already eliminated around one-fifth of the rainforest, but there are signs of improvement after a 75% jump in average yearly deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon under Bolsonaro (2019-2022) versus the previous decade.
Deforestation decreased 42.5 percent from January to July compared to the same time last year. More than 50 environmental organizations urged the governments in the area to adopt a strategy to prevent the Amazon from reaching a point of no return before the summit.
The Climate Observatory launched a petition urging other nations to support Brazil's goal of ending illegal deforestation by 2030, support Indigenous rights, and take "effective measures to fight environmental crimes."