Though it has a crucial role in preserving the Amazon rainforest, Brazil won't endorse a United Nations global anti-deforestation initiative, saying it was left out of the consultation process. A U.N. official disputed Brazil's claim.
Brazil was "not invited to be engaged in the preparation process," according to Brazilian Environment Minister Izabella Teixeira, who said they were given a copy to endorse without being allowed to make changes.
The forest declaration is expected to be one of the centerpieces of Tuesday's climate summit and endorsed by many countries, corporations and major environmental groups.
Charles McNeill, a senior environmental policy adviser with the U.N. Development Program, said there was no effort to exclude Brazil and efforts were made to reach out. "They are the most important country in this area," he said.
Brazil's complaints show how tough it is to build international consensus on global environmental initiatives. Teixeira said Brazil had concerns the initiative would clash with their own laws allowing for managed felling of the Amazon and other forests. The country's rate of deforestation has fallen 79 percent since 2004, though the Amazon's annual destruction jumped by 28 percent after 4 years of declines.
--The Associated Press