Brazil and the United States announce working group to combat illegal deforestation

(AP Photo/Eraldo Peres)

At the Summit of the Americas, Brazil and the United States announced a rapid response bilateral effort focused on achieving immediate results in reversing deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon and in other biomes, recognizing that any success will require improved law enforcement and enhanced transparency, and that the successes achieved as a result of national efforts can be augmented through greater cooperation.

The new bilateral working group on law enforcement and illegal deforestation will be co-led by Minister of the Environment Joaquim Leite, Minister of Justice and Public Security Anderson Torres and SPEC John Kerry.

This working group has a goal of contributing to a major and quantifiable reduction in illegal deforestation in the Legal Amazon each year,* and significant decreases in illegal deforestation in other biomes, in order to reach zero illegal deforestation in 2028.

With the aim of achieving its intended objectives, this working group will provide special attention in the fight against domestic and international crime on wildlife trafficking, illegal mining and illegal timber trade and in disincentivizing the use of the international financial system in association with illegal activities with forest products. The working group will develop and track indicators on progress related to the successful implementation of enforcement activities, and on the incidence of crimes related to natural resources.

* Reduction of 15% per year below previous-year levels from 2022 to 2024, of 40% below previous-year levels in 2025 and 2026, 50% below previous-year levels in 2027 and zero in 2028.