Brazil's National Institute for Space Research reported last week that the country has seen a record 74,155 wildfires this year, with 83 percent more fires being visible from space than at this time last year, though NASA reported last week that the number and severity of fires did not differ significantly from the average.
The gathering aimed "to foster a dwelling for regional dialogue to advance the safety and sustainable exercise of this set aside, which is a really unparalleled for the survival of the planet", Colombia's President Ivan Duque acknowledged.
Duque inaugurated the meeting in a "maloka" - an indigenous hut - surrounded by members of the Tikuna tribe with headdresses of colored feathers in southern Colombia's Amazon city of Leticia.
The fires followed moves by President Jair Bolsonaro to open more of the rainforest to mining and agriculture, with satellite data indicating that the pace of deforestation is increasing rapidly in one of the most biodiverse and carbon-rich areas in the world.
He gave no names, but Bolsonaro has repeatedly accused French President Emmanuel Macron of trying to meddle in Brazil's management of the Amazon at a moment when a sharp increase in fires has alarmed people around the world about damage to the vast rainforest.
While fires happen every year during the dry season, as farmers and land grabbers clear trees to grow crops or graze cattle, the spike coincides with new policies by president Bolsonaro, that have encouraged greater access to protected lands.
While an imminent meeting is planned between the countries that comprise the Amazon Rainforest, many still claim that relevant parties are not moving fast enough to protect such a valuable natural resource. Environment Minister Ricardo Salles appeared to disagree with the president's spokesperson, telling reporters that Brazil would take the money. "The dimension of the problem forces us to make drastic decisions".
In a message to the summit, UNESCO director well-liked Audrey Azoulay called on leaders to "enhance existing instruments" created to supply protection to the Amazon.
Colombia, Brazil, Bolivia, Ecuador, Guyana, Peru and Suriname - on Friday signed the "Pact for the Amazon" to protect the world's largest tropical forest, which has been been burning in its Brazilian region for weeks.
Not invited to the summit in Leticia, Colombia, was Venezuela's Nicolas Maduro. Resolve the final Live TV action on HEADLINEZPRO 24×7 and HEADLINEZPRO India.
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China's trade surplus with the United States stood at US$26.95-billion in August, narrowing from July's US$27.97-billion. However, Chinese imports of USA goods dropped by about 22% to $10.3 billion, official customs data showed .