Scientists suggest binding goals to rescue Amazon

20 November 2019

As thousands of wildfires and deforestation escalate in the Amazon rainforest, a team of international scientists has called for governments to enact six key goals to protect the vital wilderness.

The team, including a group of University of Queensland researchers, discussed the signing of the Leticia Pact in September, where seven South American governments managing the Amazon made joint statements toward better protecting Amazon.

UQ’s Associate Professor Salit Kark, the paper’s senior author, said cross-boundary collaboration was key for protecting the Amazon.

“The Leticia Pact recently signed by most Amazon countries, including Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Peru, and Suriname represents a potential crucial step toward more effectively and collaboratively tackling the many environmental challenges facing the Amazon, but more is needed,” Dr Kark said.

“To go beyond simple declarations of intent, the Leticia Pact urgently requires binding targets, resources, and measurable well-defined actions and milestones.

“The Amazon holds over half of Earth’s rainforests and a quarter of the planet’s terrestrial biodiversity.

“And Amazon deforestation and related fires have wide-ranging negative impacts that cross political boundaries.”

Dr Paula Prist from the University of Sao Paulo, who co-led the paper, said losing the Amazon would have an impact on many fronts.

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