South American Environment Ministers Meet On Amazon Environment

Environment Ministers from eight South American countries are meeting for a two day summit, starting Tuesday, to discuss actions to protect the Amazon rain forest, Peru’s state news agency Andina reported.

The summit, which was inaugurated by Peruvian Foreign Affairs Minister Rafael Roncagliolo, aims to create projects to ensure sustainable development in the Amazon.

The topics include monitoring deforestation, defining criteria for sustainable forest management, tackling forest fires, managing water resources, and a number of other issues. Officials will also discuss the impact of climate change on the region.

Officials aim to reach a common platform to present at the upcoming Rio+20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, in Rio de Janeiro June 20- June 22.

The ministers participating in the event include Peruvian Environment Minister Manuel Pulgar-Vidal, as well as his counterparts from Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Suriname and Venezuela.

Peru faces a series of environmental problems in Amazonia, including illegal logging, but the meeting comes at a time when the country has taken the first serious steps in over two decades to combat disastrous deterioration of the Amazon rainforest in the Madre de Dios region in southern Peru, the result of thousands of illegal and informal miners dredging for gold in several major Amazon tributaries, encroaching on national park buffer zones, laying waste to vast areas of land and poisoning the rivers in the separating process.

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