Amazon – Fires - Statement by Jean-Yves Le Drian (22 August 2019)


Tropical forests play a crucial role in the fight against climate change. France is deeply concerned by the many fires that have raged in the Amazon rainforest over the past several weeks, on an unprecedented scale.

Fueled by a drought that has been largely exacerbated by deforestation and the conversion of forested lands into agricultural areas, this episode is affecting several countries in the region, with serious consequences for local populations and biodiversity. President Macron discussed these challenges during his meeting on May 16 with Chief Raoni in Paris, and I myself raised these issues with my interlocutors during my visit to Brazil in July.

France is also facing this risk in the Amazonian forest of Guiana and has long worked with the countries of South America to tackle it, especially through the French Development Agency and the Research Institute for Development (IRD). In early 2020, the IRD will launch a €9 million regional project with civil society to preserve Amazonian ecosystems. We are determined to pursue these efforts and to work with all regional stakeholders (States, local communities, NGOs, the private sector) to implement the Sustainable Development Goals, the Paris Agreement, and the adoption in 2020 of the next global biodiversity targets.