Colombian officials said Wednesday that deforestation in Colombia’s Amazon rainforest dropped by 26% last year, as the government worked with former rebels to protect the environment. This follows the release of new figures showing deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon fell by one-third in the first half of 2023 amid a government crackdown on illegal miners and loggers. Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva and his Colombian counterpart Gustavo Petro met at a regional summit over the weekend, where they pledged to work together to safeguard the Amazon. President Petro said Indigenous communities deserve an economy that doesn’t rely on extractive industries.
President Gustavo Petro: “The Northern people wiped out the forests and killed the Indigenous people. Is that development? Do we have to do the same? Or is there an entirely different perspective opening up? There is another kind of development that has to do with not cutting down the tree.”