BOGOTA – The Amazonian countries will sign a pact for the conservation of the Amazon at the presidential summit to be held next Friday in the Colombian city of Leticia, officials said on Wednesday.
“From this presidential summit will be issued a declaration containing the Leticia Pact for the Amazon,” Colombian Foreign Minister Carlos Holmes Trujillo told reporters.
According to the foreign minister, the declaration “will contain concrete actions” to preserve the Amazon, and will include “an itinerary of activities” in which not only the Amazonian countries but other nations of the region and the international community will participate.
“The reason for this call is related to the importance of the Amazon, not only for the Amazon countries and for the region, but for the entire world,” he said.
He added that the meeting in Leticia, capital of the Colombian department of Amazonas, will be attended by presidents Lenin Moreno of Ecuador, Martin Vizcarra of Peru, and the host, Ivan Duque.
Later he confirmed that Bolivian President Evo Morales and Suriname Vice President Michael Ashwin Adhin had also confirmed their attendance.
These five countries, along with Venezuela and Guyana, are part of the Amazon basin.
Trujillo also confirmed that Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro will not attend as he will undergo surgery on Sunday, but will participate by videoconference and send a delegation headed by Foreign Minister Ernesto Araujo.
The Colombian foreign minister said the summit’s aim is to advance the “coordination of actions for the conservation and preservation of the Amazon,” in which vast fires have been raging for weeks.
Colombian Environment Minister Ricardo Lozano said the text of the declaration is advanced and will be discussed on Thursday in Leticia at a meeting of experts prior to the presidential summit.
“We must reinforce the exchange of information, which is an issue that will be worked on tomorrow” in order to conclude the pact for all the participating countries, he added.
Such exchange is crucial to address the causes of forest fires, he said.
“Fortunately, it is raining in the Colombian Amazon. It has rained in Leticia in the last 15 days,” he said, explaining why fires like those in Brazil haven’t occurred in this part of the jungle.
Lozano said that the conservation and protection of natural resources is a priority of the Colombian government and was established in the National Development Plan approved last year by Congress.