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File image of the Amazon rainforest near Cristalino Lodge, Pará State, Brazil. Alamy Stock Photo

Brazil's president Lula says the 'world must help' his country save the Amazon

Deforestation in Brazil’s share of the Amazon fell by 33.6% year-on-year from January to June, the first six months of Lula’s term.

PRESIDENT LUIZ INACIO Lula da Silva today said the “world must help” Brazil protect the Amazon, ahead of a summit next week on the world’s biggest rainforest, a key buffer against climate change.

“We know we have a responsibility to convince the world that investing is cheap if it’s a matter of saving the rainforest,” the veteran leftist told a breakfast meeting with international media.

“The world needs to help us preserve and develop the Amazon,” he said, in response to a question on how to balance the need for economic development in the Amazon region with protecting the forest.

Lula and leaders of other countries with territory in the sprawling Amazon are set to meet next week in the Brazilian city of Belem on developing policies to protect the rainforest, which is being badly damaged by deforestation.

It will be the first meeting of the eight-member Amazon Cooperation Treaty Organization since 2009.

Deforestation in Brazil’s 60% share of the Amazon fell by 33.6% year-on-year from January to June, the first six months of Lula’s term, according to official figures.

The destruction of the rainforest had surged under his far-right predecessor, Jair Bolsonaro (2019-2022), who presided over an increase of more than 75% in annual deforestation versus the previous decade.

Lula said he planned to work with other Amazon basin leaders to “share research on the region’s biodiversity” and seek ways to enable people there to “work without destroying” the fragile ecosystem.

sao-paulosp-august-17-luiz-inacio-lula-da-silva-brazils-former-president-speaks-during-a-meeting-with-entrepreneurs-at-hotel-novotel-sao-paulo-on-august-17-2022-in-sao-paulo-sp-brazil-phot 2022 image of Brazilian president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva. Alamy Stock Photo Alamy Stock Photo

Lula, 77, who previously led Brazil from 2003 to 2010, also reiterated his desire to help forge a peace deal for Ukraine.

Both Russia and Ukraine “are in the ‘I’m going to win’ stage. Meanwhile, people are dying,” he said.

He also spoke in Favor of expanding the BRICS group of emerging economies, formed by Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.

He said the group should discuss inviting new members at its upcoming summit in South Africa later this month, suggesting Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Argentina as possibilities.

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