Global outfit key to forest protection

-Amazon environment ministers meeting hears

The Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environ-ment says setting up a global outfit to provide consistent technical and financial support is crucial to forest conservation efforts.

It made this statement at the 2nd Meeting of Environ-ment Ministers of the Amazon Cooperation Treaty Organisa-tion (ACTO) held in Lima, Peru earlier in the week.

According to a press release, Minister Robert Persaud and representatives from environment ministries in Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Suriname, Vene-zuela and the host country discussed ACTO’s Environ-mental Agenda and opportunities for strengthened regional cooperation among Ama-zonian countries over the three-day meeting.

“The Agenda was expected to support Guyana and other member states in regional efforts to manage protected areas, strengthen forest management, develop options to address climate change, tackle illegal mining, and target the illegal trade in flora and fauna,” the ministry said. The meeting also allowed member states to identify common positions in the context of the upcoming Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio +20) set for June in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

In his address, Persaud called for increased coordination and information sharing among the countries in order to preserve the world’s remaining tropical rainforest. “He reiterated the need for strengthened partnerships both within the Amazon region and between the Amazon and the tropical rainforest basins in the Congo and Mekong/Borneo regions,” the release said.

Guyana’s delegation which also included Natural Resources Specialist Damian Fernandes and Deputy Commissioner at the Guyana Forestry Commission Tasreef Khan, stressed the need to support initiatives being implemented by ACTO countries to protect rainforest and other Amazonian ecosystems. It noted too that it was important to set up an international mechanism that will provide reliable technical and financial support for conservation efforts. The ministry said Guyana’s submissions are expected to be included in the Lima Declaration which will be signed be all ACTO member stated. This Declaration will serve as the basis for ACTO’s priorities going into the Rio+20 conference.

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