The presidents of Colombia, Peru and Brazil will hold a summit in the coming days to discuss joint action against deforestation in the Amazon basin.
Colombian President Ivan Duque, who was on an official visit to Lima for a meeting with his Peruvian counterpart Martin Vizcarra, told press that “in the coming days we will have a meeting on the Amazonian border we share between Colombia, Peru and Brazil.”
The three countries share borders near Leticia, the capital of the southern Amazonas department.
Before traveling to Peru, the president had already said he would be seeking a regional pact to preserve the world’s largest rainforest.
Unlike Bolsonaro, who is skeptical about climate change, Peru’s president has been a vocal advocate of actions against climate change and has promoted far-reaching legislation to protect the environment in his country.
A record number of 75,000 fires have been blazing in Brazil’s part of the Amazon so far this year, but is not the only country facing deforestation.
Colombia has lost more than 60,000 square kilometers of rainforest since it began measuring deforestation in 1990.
Duque has already urged for support of the United Nations as both he and Bolsonaro have claimed to lack the resources to curb the ongoing deforestation of the rainforest.
In Colombia’s southern Guaviare province, for example, no more than 11 government officials are in charge of monitoring 53,000 square kilometers, an area almost as big as Ireland.
Main causes of deforestation in Colombia
- Illegal mining
- Cattle ranching
- Coca cultivation
The current forest fires in Brazil are largely due to deliberate deforestation, that is common between dry season in the region that lasts between July to October, according to the Amazon Environmental Research Institute.
In Colombia, the dry months of March and April have historically seen most fires as colonizers take advantage of the weather conditions to expand their lands for cattle ranching or gain access to fossil fuels.