By Lisandra Paraguassu
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – The governments of Brazil and the United States are in talks to jointly combat exports of illegal timber from the Amazon rainforest, as well as other unlawful environmental activities.
The talks were held on the sidelines of a meeting Thursday at the Summit of the Americas between U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry and Brazil’s Justice and Public Security Minister Anderson Torres and Environment Minister Joaquim Leite.
The details of the cooperation deal have not yet been defined, Torres told Reuters on Friday, but a possible agreement around collaboration would involve support from the United States, especially in the area of intelligence.
Torres said the partnership could also entail resources for setting up bases in the Amazon, adding that a technical meeting to define its model should be scheduled in the coming weeks.
“I think that if we begin to work more closely together, this collaboration will involve intelligence and information exchange, the investigation of these timber routes,” Torres said.
The meeting with Kerry dealt with various issues of Brazilian environmental policy, but centered on policies for combating organized crime in the Amazon, which includes the extraction and illegal sale of wood, but also mining and other crimes.
Brazil has faced international criticism for its handling of illegal deforestation in the Amazon and other environmental issues. Brazil’s Amazon deforestation in 2021 surged to the highest level in 15 years, according to official government statistics.
(Reporting by Lisandra Paraguassu; Writing by Carolina Pulice; Editing by Shri Navaratnam)