Sunday, December 5, 2021

In Colombia, Blinken Announces Deal To Curb Deforestation In The Amazon

Following a day of high-level talks in Colombia, US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken announced on Thursday a regional partnership to tackle deforestation in the Amazon rainforest.

“We will provide much-needed financial assistance to help manage protected and indigenous territories, and we will help spread low-carbon farming practices to farmers across the Amazon,” he said in the capital, Bogotá, after visiting a botanical garden. gardens.

“This new regional partnership will help prevent up to 19 million metric tons of carbon dioxide from escaping into the atmosphere while capturing an additional 52,000 metric tons of carbon, and we estimate it will save – save – more than 45,000 hectares of forest,” Blinken added.

The Amazon spans eight countries in South America, including Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru. The Amazon and other rainforests are critical because they absorb carbon dioxide and produce about one fifth of the world’s oxygen. About a third of Colombia is located in the Amazon.

Colombian President Ivan Duque is setting ambitious climate targets, including zero deforestation by 2030. Blinken noted in his speech that Duque received the International Nature Conservation Award this year from the International Fund for Conservation of Nature.

UN conference

Blinken’s announcement came just over a week before the opening of the United Nations Climate Change Conference, known as COP26, in Glasgow, Scotland, where about 100 world leaders will discuss climate change and how to tackle it.

In Glasgow, “the entire planet is looking forward to important announcements – action,” he said.

The Secretary concluded a trip to Ecuador and Colombia to discuss migration policy and the maintenance of democracy.

“The main purpose of this trip, my first trip to South America as Secretary of State, is how we work to ensure that democracies benefit our people,” Blinken said minutes before negotiations began. “This is our common task. This is our shared responsibility. And this is true for our countries and throughout the hemisphere. “

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Blinken said the high-level dialogue between the United States and Colombia will discuss many common issues, including COVID-19, the climate crisis and migration.

“We know that one way to achieve our goals is to work closely with our partners and allies to address the greatest challenges we face, and that’s exactly what the United States and Colombia are doing,” Blinken said.

Blinken told reporters on Wednesday after meeting with Duque that the two countries have many areas of potential cooperation, including cloud computing, health technology and agriculture.

The United States asks the countries of the Western Hemisphere to step up commitments to address the pressing issues of illegal migration as it expands the right to legal migration to the United States.

Ministry of Migration

On Wednesday, Blinken held talks with more than a dozen officials from Latin America at a regional conference of ministers of migration in Bogota. Homeland Security Minister Alejandro Mallorcas virtually joined the meeting.

The United States discussed options, including helping migrants who do not have valid asylum claims to voluntarily return to their home countries.

Duque confirmed that his government received resources from the United States to tackle what he called “the world’s most complex migration crisis”: the migration crisis in Venezuela.

In a speech earlier Wednesday in Ecuador, Blinken highlighted several challenges that democracies face in the Western Hemisphere, including corruption, civil security, and the economic and social well-being of the people.

He said he was optimistic that they could be overcome and noted that the survival of a democracy ruled by ordinary people is vital to the overall future of the region.

VOA’s Nike Ching contributed to this report. Some information came from the Associated Press, Agence France-Presse and Reuters.

Nation World News Desk
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