While the Amazon Summit saw countries uniting to protect the valuable Amazon rainforest, the World Wildlife Find (WWF) has expressed its disappointment over the lack of a unified commitment to end deforestation.
The recent Belem Declaration, signed on Tuesday and supported by eight Amazonian nations, sent a powerful message to the world, emphasizing the urgent need to act before the rainforest reaches its point of no return.
If current deforestation rates persist, irreversible degradation may occur within a decade. The fallout from such an event would deeply impact Latin America and the entire world, both environmentally and socio-economically.
The consensus from leaders was clear: the Amazon is at risk, and time to act is running out. Yet, the countries were not able to reach a common goal to end deforestation. Brazil and Colombia committed to ending deforestation by 2030, but other nations held back from this joint pledge.
Mauricio Voivodic, Executive Director of WWF-Brazil, summarized the sentiment: “It’s commendable that state heads acknowledged the Amazon’s critical state and its conservation urgency. Still, tangible, solid measures against deforestation are required. We must urgently address environmental and health issues like illegal mining and mercury contamination.”
An “Amazon Alliance to Combat Deforestation” was proposed, but countries could not agree on a common objective. WWF believes such unity is crucial to preventing the ecosystem’s destruction.
The Amazon is home to 1,300 bird species, 427 mammal species, 378 species of reptiles, and more than 400 species of amphibians. Every year, new species are still being discovered. These animals are in danger because of deforestation.