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In a resolute stance to protect the world’s largest rainforest, Brazilian President, Lula da Silva, has issued a compelling call for international assistance in safeguarding the Amazon.

With the Amazon rainforest facing escalating threats from deforestation and climate change, President Lula emphasizes the need for collective efforts to preserve this critical ecosystem, acting as a crucial buffer against climate change.

Speaking to a gathering of foreign correspondents in Brasilia on August 2, 2023, President Lula underscored the responsibility of Brazil and the international community in preserving this natural treasure. “The world must help us preserve and develop the Amazon,” he asserted, acknowledging the delicate balance between promoting economic development in the Amazon region and preserving its invaluable ecological diversity.

In an unprecedented move, President Lula, along with leaders from other countries with territorial claims in the vast Amazon basin, is set to convene in the Brazilian city of Belem next week. This summit aims to develop comprehensive policies to protect the Amazon from the ravages of deforestation.

The meeting holds significant importance as it marks the first gathering of the eight-member Amazon Cooperation Treaty Organization since 2009. The participation of these nations demonstrates a commitment to collective action and reinforces the significance of the Amazon rainforest in the global fight against climate change.

An encouraging sign is that deforestation in Brazil’s 60-percent share of the Amazon has declined by 33.6 percent during the initial six months of President Lula’s term. This positive trend contrasts sharply with the alarming surge in deforestation observed during the tenure of his far-right predecessor, Jair Bolsonaro (2019-2022), who oversaw a distressing increase of more than 75 percent in annual deforestation compared to the previous decade.

President Lula’s vision for preserving the Amazon extends beyond curbing deforestation. He has articulated a clear objective of collaborating with other Amazon basin leaders to share research on the region’s unparalleled biodiversity. This knowledge exchange can pave the way for innovative solutions that enable sustainable economic activities without compromising the delicate ecosystem of the rainforest.

The Amazon rainforest is not just a Brazilian concern; it is a global issue with far-reaching consequences. With over 400 billion individual trees representing more than 16,000 species, the Amazon serves as a vital carbon sink, absorbing approximately 2 billion tons of CO2 annually. Its preservation is crucial in mitigating the impacts of climate change and maintaining biodiversity on a global scale.

President Lula’s plea for international assistance underscores the shared responsibility of countries worldwide in addressing the ecological challenges that the Amazon faces. By investing in the preservation of this ecological treasure, the international community can collectively combat climate change, protect endangered species, and ensure the wellbeing of indigenous communities that call the Amazon home.

Moreover, President Lula’s commitment to finding a peaceful resolution to conflicts extends beyond environmental issues. He expressed a keen desire to contribute to forging a peace deal for Ukraine, urging both Russia and Ukraine to prioritize dialogue and reconciliation. As conflicts persist, innocent lives continue to be lost, underscoring the importance of diplomatic efforts in promoting peace and stability.

On a broader global stage, President Lula is a staunch advocate for the expansion of the BRICS group of emerging economies, comprising Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa. He believes that the group should consider inviting new members to its ranks to strengthen collective economic ties. In particular, President Lula suggested the inclusion of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Argentina as potential new participants.

President Lula’s vision for the Amazon’s conservation and his proactive stance on global issues highlight the crucial role that political leaders play in addressing environmental challenges. His call to action reflects the urgency with which nations must come together to safeguard the Amazon rainforest and other vital ecosystems. As the international community unites to combat climate change and protect the planet’s biodiversity, President Lula’s leadership serves as an inspiration for cooperation and sustainable development. The future of the Amazon and the world lies in the hands of collaborative efforts, and President Lula’s call is a rallying cry for collective action to preserve our shared home.