STATEMENT: With the Eyes of the World on Wildfires in the Amazon, G7 Countries Have Opportunity to Act
As thousands of wildfires burn across the Amazon rainforest risking destruction of the planet’s most important cache of biological diversity, world leaders will meet over the weekend in France at the G7 meetings. French President Emmanuel Macron, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel have all said the agenda at this weekend’s summit must include a conversation about the out-of-control fires.
In advance of the G7 Summit, the Campaign for Nature has issued the following statement from director Brian O’Donnell:
“The Group of Seven nations have an opportunity to make a strong, unified statement this weekend. Not only are the human-caused wildfires a global crisis, but the relentless loss of the planet’s wildlife and wild places is an international emergency demanding the attention of all world leaders.
“The emergency in the Amazon is a global responsibility. Leaders around the world have the chance to champion a global deal for nature that protects at least 30 percent of the planet by 2030 and that keeps our most valuable ecosystems like the Amazon intact.”
With the eyes of the world on Brazil, the stakes could not be higher. Earlier this year, a panel of 450 leading scientists issued a major report on the state of biodiversity. The U.N. report from the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services, known as IPBES, showed that the state of the planet’s nature is in dire straits, 75 percent of lands and 67 percent of oceans have been severely altered by humans, and one million species are at risk of extinction. The leading causes of extinction include deforestation and agricultural expansion – the primary causes behind the massive wildfires raging across Amazonia.
In an interview on the wildfires in Brazil, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson endorsed the U.K.’s leadership, calling for world leaders to adopt strong targets to safeguard wildlife and wild places. He said, “What we in the U.K. want to do is lead the world now in setting targets for the retention, the maintenance, and the improvement of habitat, and stop this terrible loss of biodiversity, so set targets for keeping the species that we inherited on this planet."
The Campaign for Nature is a global campaign to convince world leaders to adopt ambitious protected area targets, leading to permanent protections for at least 30 percent of the planet’s lands and oceans by 2030, when nations meet at the Conference of Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity in China next year.