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South America Will Pledge to End Amazon Deforestation by 2030

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Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva’s ambitious pledge to end illegal deforestation of the Amazon rainforest by 2030 is going regional.

The eight South American nations that make up the Amazon rainforest have agreed to adopt the pledge in August, Peruvian Environment Minister Albina Ruiz said in a news conference on Thursday.

“There is consensus when it comes to zero deforestation,” Ruiz said in a press conference in Lima. Peru has the second-largest section of the Amazon after Brazil.

The pledge would amount to the most ambitious government effort yet to protect the world’s largest rainforest, whose preservation scientists see as key to helping avert climate change. It also faces huge obstacles as the nations sharing the Amazon have economic interests that are sometimes at odds with its preservation. Gold mining is a key concern, as are the oil and timber industries.

Lula is already set to host the presidents of the eight nations — Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Peru, Suriname, and Venezuela — in August to sign an Amazon declaration.

Ruiz said the deforestation pledge has already been included in the draft declaration because there is consensus on it.

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