France "deeply concerned" about Amazon rainforest fires

Amazon/fires – Statement by M. Jean-Yves Le Drian, Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs

Paris, 22 August 2019

Tropical forests play a crucial role in the fight against climate change. France is deeply concerned about the many fires that have raged in the Amazon rainforest over the past several weeks, on an unprecedented scale.

Fuelled by a drought that has been largely exacerbated by deforestation and the conversion of forested lands into agricultural areas, this episode is affecting several countries in the region, with serious consequences for local populations and biodiversity. President Macron discussed these challenges during his meeting on 16 May with Chief Raoni in Paris, and I myself raised these issues with my interlocutors during my visit to Brazil in July.

France is also facing this risk in the Amazonian forest of Guiana and has long worked with the countries of South America to tackle it, especially through the French Development Agency and the Research Institute for Development (IRD). In early 2020, the IRD will launch a €9 million regional project with civil society to preserve Amazonian ecosystems. We are determined to pursue these efforts and to work with all regional stakeholders (states, local communities, NGOs, the private sector) to implement the Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement, and adopt in 2020 the next global biodiversity targets./.

Published on 30/08/2019

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