Carbon credits – land grab or the Amazon’s future
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Belém’s international airport is welcoming delegates with a lively “Boi de mascara” folkloric dance routine this week. As host of the Amazon Summit, the entire city is enjoying the limelight.

COP30 will be held in the city in 2025, so it feels like a warm-up for that event. These two events are big for this part of Brazil – a region that often feels forgotten. As the capital of Pará, the state with the highest deforestation rate in Brazil, Belém is well placed.

It was called by Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva in order to bring together the eight South American countries that share a slice of the Amazon.

During the opening remarks, he urged those nations to resume cooperation and agree on common policies to stop deforestation and illegal mining.

In the meantime, Colombian president Gustavo Petro called for the creation of an international court to prosecute environmental crimes committed in the Amazon. Additionally, he defended a total ban on oil exploration in the region – a proposal backed by indigenous leaders.

As a result of this meeting, a regional response to crime, deforestation, and climate change has been ensured for the first time in years.

During a BBC interview last week, President Lula said, “I think it’s important for the world to see this meeting in Belém as a milestone.”

It is the first great opportunity for people to show the world what we are all about. Many meetings are spent talking, talking, talking and nothing ever happens. This meeting is the first great opportunity for us to show the world what we are all about.”

Lula has pledged to reverse the rising deforestation seen under his predecessor, Jair Bolsonaro. Deforestation fell 66% from July 2022 to July this year, and Lula is committed to zero deforestation by 2030.