"BELEM, Brazil — The Amazon rainforest is a massive area, twice the size of India and sprawling across eight countries and one territory. It’s a crucial carbon sink for the climate, has about 20% of the world’s freshwater reserves and boasts astounding biodiversity, including 16,000 known tree species.
But governments have historically viewed it as an area to be colonized and exploited, with little regard for sustainability or the rights of its Indigenous peoples.
Now, as those governments seek to clamp down on a Wild West atmosphere of resource extraction, human rights abuses and environmental crime, collaboration across borders is a must. That’s a major goal of the two-day Amazon Summit that opens Tuesday in Belem, where Brazil will host policymakers and others to discuss how to tackle the immense challenges of protecting a critical resource in stemming the worst of climate change."