Written by Joseph Ong

7 Nations Sign Rainforest Pact

As the Amazon forest fires rage on, Presidents and representatives from seven South American countries met in Columbia to discuss joint measures to protect the Amazon River Basin. Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Peru and Suriname signed a pact to coordinate disaster response and satellite monitoring, and curb illegal mining, forest clearing for agriculture and drug trafficking. Their commitment to action is echoed in Peruvian President Martín Vizcarra’s words: “Goodwill alone is not enough anymore.” The seven countries have also pledged to increase education and expand the roles of indigenous communities in combating local fires.

The meeting was called by the Brazil President Bolsonaro in response to international attempts at intervention. He urged the other leaders in the region to “take a strong position of defense of sovereignty so that each country can develop the best policy for the Amazon region, and not leave it in the hands of other countries.” However, French President Macron argues that the international community has to intervene, especially when the climate is at stake.


Warring Tribes Unite Against Bolsonaro 

While the seven nations rallied under Bolsonaro, warring indigenous tribes have found themselves united against the same man. Putting aside long-running ethic conflicts, they met in the Kubenkokre village in a show of force against the Bolsonaro administration deemed responsible for the forest fires. The meeting was hosted by the Kayapós group, who invited representatives of the Panara people despite past conflicts marked by violent massacres. Tribal leader Mudjire Kayapó told reporters “Today we have only one enemy, the Brazilian government, the President of Brazil, and the invasions of “non-indigenous people.” During the meeting, the tribes formed a representative council to strengthen their collective political voice, and discussed the government’s plans to authorise leasing and mining on indigenous lands.

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