Updated 04:19 PM EDT, Mon, Jul 15, 2019

Brazil, Colombia & Peru Work Together In First Military Project to Protect the Amazon

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Brazil, Colombia, and Peru are teaming up in a military cooperation project aimed to protect the Amazon.

According to naval shipbuilder Cotecmar, the Amazon patrol boat agreement was signed in July 2014 and will allow the countries to share technology, Fox News Latino reported. The project will involve Brazil's Empresa Gerencial de Projetos Navais (Emgepron) and Peru's Servicios Industriales de la Marina S.A. (SIMA).

"We have signed an agreement to jointly develop a platform to protect the Amazon we share," Cotecmar Chairman Rear Admiral Jorge Enrique Carreño said, as quoted by Fox News Latino. He also said that the agreement "is the first military cooperation project in the region" and it was intended to address the threat of destruction in the Amazon region, which the three nations share, the news outlet further reported.

The Amazon sprawls an estimated 6 million sq. kilometers (2.3 million sq. miles). Aside from Brazil, Colombia, and Peru, the region also covers Ecuador, French Guiana, Guyana, Suriname, and Venezuela, Fox News Latino listed. In November, Mongabay reported that the Wyss Foundation committed to a $4 million grant to the Andes Amazon Fund (AAF) in support of locally-driven conservation plans for the Amazon.

The effort will focus primarily in Peru, which contains some of the Earth's most biodiverse regions but also has high deforestation rates for palm oil, timber, agriculture, and mineral production, Mongabay wrote.

"Peruvian leaders, local organizations, and indigenous peoples are making remarkable progress toward conserving the wild forests of the Andes and the Amazon before they are lost to deforestation," said Hansjörg Wyss, who launched the Wyss Foundation in 1998, in a statement quoted by Mongabay.

The AAF also made a million dollar commitment to the world's newest rainforest reserve: the Sierra del Divisor National Park, which is a 1.3 million hectare area of forests, geological formations, and indigenous territories, the news outlet added. Aside from the protection of biodiverse areas, the AAF's strategies also include secluding new parks and improving the management of existing reserves.

Adrian Forsyth, executive director of AAF, told Mongabay that protected areas such as the Western Amazon has a significant part in evading extinction and in slowing down climate change.

"Conserving the Amazon headwaters is our best hope for getting large numbers of tropical species through the climate change bottleneck that lies ahead. The swath of intact habitat running from the lowland rainforest to the snow-capped Andes is where we have to concentrate efforts to help local and national governments, civil society organizations and indigenous communities rapidly expand and consolidate habitat protection," Forsyth explained to the news outlet.

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