The G7 countries have pledged $22 million to help fight the forest fires that have been ravaging the Amazon for more than three weeks.
The announcement was made by French President Emmanuel Macron, who said that the Amazon represents the “lungs” of the planet.
France is hosting the 2019 G7 Summit in the southwestern city of Biarritz, a meeting described by European Council President Donald Tusk as a “difficult test of unity and solidarity of the free world and its leaders”.
Leaders of the member nations – US, UK, Canada, Italy, Japan and Germany – are in attendance, joined by other invited leaders including President Cyril Ramaphosa (South Africa), President Paul Kagame (Rwanda), President Roch Marc Christian Kaboré (Burkina Faso), President Macky Sall (Senegal), Abdel Fattah el-Sisi (Egypt), President Sebastián Piñera (Chile), Prime Minister Narendra Modi (India), Prime Minister Scott Morrison (Australia) and Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez (Spain).
The Amazon fires were a major concern ahead of the Summit, with world leaders and conservationists calling for upon the world’s most developed nations to do more.
Satellites have recorded more than 41,000 fires in the Amazon region so far this year —more than half of which came in August alone.
The G7 countries also agreed to support a medium-term reforestation plan which will be unveiled at the United Nations in September, according to a source from the French presidency.
(Additional information from AFP)