(Left to right): Brazilian Foreign Minister Ernesto Araujo, Bolivia’s President Evo Morales, Peru’s President Martin Vizcarra, Colombia’s President Ivan Duque, Ecuador’s President Ivan Moreno, Suriname’s Vice President Michael Ashwin Adhin and Minister Trotman in Letecia, Colombia at the historic signing
LETECIA, Colombia, Monday September 9, 2019 – Guyana has joined six other Amazonian countries in signing a pact to protect the Amazon, the world’s largest tropical forest, at the time when it is under threat from fires.
The pact, signed by heads of states and other senior ministers of Guyana, Colombia, Bolivia, Ecuador, Peru, Suriname and Brazil in Letecia, Colombia aims to coordinate disaster response and satellite monitoring.
Guyana’s Minister of Natural Resources Raphael Trotman, who represented President David Granger at the signing, pointed out that the continuing inferno in the Amazon – “two-thirds of which is in Brazil, and the reason for us being here” – threatens the rainforest eco-system and also affects the entire globe.
“The effects of damage to the Amazon go far beyond Brazil and its neighbors. We are the lungs of the earth, we must all breathe to live. Therefore, our presence here is in recognition of the value and importance of the Amazon, and the Guiana Shield, and our role as custodians, stewards and guardians of it,” he asserted.
Fires in Brazil’s Amazon burned 6.2M acres in August. It was the worst month of fires since 2010.
Many are still burning. pic.twitter.com/NqS24wtLtq
— AJ+ (@ajplus) September 5, 2019
Jack Slater :”How big is the Amazon rainforest and how much has been destroyed by the fire so far?” https://t.co/Ys8truqRIB
— Hernan Buitrago R. (@herrahas) September 9, 2019
The Amazon is the world’s largest rainforest which produces approximately 20 per cent of earth’s oxygen and spans eight countries, including Guyana.
It covers 40 per cent of South America, is inhabited by 30 million people and is home to vast numbers of mammals, birds, amphibians and reptiles, most of them, unique to the region. New plant or animal species are discovered at a rate of one every two days in the Amazon.