UK pledges $A18mln to help protect Amazon

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has pledged $A18 million to help protect the Amazon.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has pledged $A18 million to help protect the Amazon.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has promised STG10 million ($A18 million) to help protect the Amazon rainforest and called on world leaders to step up efforts to save endangered species.

The funding for the South American rainforest will be made available immediately to protect and restore the habitat, including in areas affected by the current fires.

Johnson will use the G7 summit in Biarritz to call for ambitious new targets to halt and reverse the loss of habitats and species, arguing that efforts to protect biodiversity and tackle climate change are "two sides of the same coin".

Before a G7 session on the environment on Monday, Johnson said: "In a week where we have all watched, horrified, as the Amazon rainforest burns before our eyes, we cannot escape the reality of the damage we are inflicting on the natural world.

"The planet faces two immense threats: Climate change and biodiversity loss. These are two sides of the same coin - it is impossible to solve one challenge without fixing the other.

"We cannot stop climate change without protecting the natural environment and we can't restore global nature without tackling climate change."

The UK hopes to host the major COP26 climate change conference in 2020 and Johnson said if its bid is successful the event "will have as a major focus the solutions to climate change that can be found in nature - such as reforestation".

He will urge leaders to adopt new targets to restore the natural environment that are more ambitious than the existing Aichi goals which expire in 2020.

Johnson will also urge the G7 to do more to protect seas, calling on them to back Britain's call to protect 30 per cent of the world's ocean by 2030 - to reverse the damage being done by overfishing, plastic pollution and climate change.

Australian Associated Press