Leaders of the eight nations comprising the Amazon Cooperation Treaty Organization (ACTO) will meet next week in a historic summit aimed at forming a unified policy to protect the Amazon rainforest. The gathering, scheduled for Aug. 7-8 in Belem, will be the first of its kind to craft a shared approach to preserve, secure, and restore the vast and vital ecosystem.
The summit will focus on critical topics such as forest conservation and security along the borders. This meeting comes at a crucial time as the Amazon faces increasing threats from illegal logging, deforestation, and land degradation.
The agenda will also cover the involvement of private businesses in the reforestation of 30 million hectares of degraded land. This initiative is expected to include collaboration with the furniture industry to help restore the region. Brazil’s President, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, announced the meeting on Wednesday, emphasizing the landmark nature of the summit.
ACTO was founded in 1978 with the goal of promoting preservation and regulating development in the Amazon basin through cooperation. Its members include Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Peru, Suriname, and Venezuela.
President Lula da Silva also expressed an interest in engaging with the private sector, stating that businesses will be invited to contribute to the reforestation of 30 million hectares of degraded land. “We are going to discuss with the business sector a policy for the reforestation of 30 million hectares of degraded land with trees that can be used by furniture industries,” he said.
The move towards a unified Amazon policy is not the only recent example of regional collaboration. On July 17, 2023, President Lula da Silva took part in the EU-LAC Digital alliance photo-op ceremony with leaders of the European Union (EU) and the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) during the EU-CELAC summit in Brussels.