Peru, Colombia pledge to protect Amazon region

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Lima, Aug 28 (IANS) Peruvian President Martin Vizcarra and his Colombian counterpart Ivan Duque have pledged to work together to protect the Amazon region amid international concern over wildfires that are destroying large tracts of the rainforest.

During a binational Cabinet meeting in the Amazonian city of Pucallpa in eastern Peru on Tuesday, the two countries signed a joint declaration calling for the need to protect the rainforest from illegal commercial activities and pollutants.

After signing the document, Vizcarra said the fires have drawn “the attention of several countries and communities around the world”, Xinhua news agency reported.

Vizcarra said that caring for the Amazon, considered the “lungs of the planet”, should be permanent and added that it was essential to combat illegal logging, mining and other activities including planting drugs for trafficking.

The idea is “to propose a comprehensive plan of action to support and develop the Amazon”, he said.

The Peruvian leader said he will soon meet Duque again on the Amazonian border that Peru, Colombia and Brazil share, for the “launching of a commitment in the face of this important reality, which is not being given due attention”.

Duque said Colombia will host that meeting “to generate a great collective awareness” about the task of protecting the Amazon.

Brazil, Peru and Colombia are home to most of the Amazon rainforest, which also extends into Venezuela, Ecuador, Bolivia and other South American countries.

Raging fires in recent weeks have raised international concern about the need to preserve the Amazon.

–IANS

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