Brasilia: Former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva says he will pursue a new environmental and climate policy is he wins the country’s presidential election in October.
“We will end illegal gold mining and fight seriously against deforestation,” Lula told a group of international journalists in Sao Paulo on Monday.
No more trees need to be cut down to plant soy or corn crops or raise livestock, dpa news agency quoted the former leader as saying.
“If the world is ready to help, preserving a tree in the Amazon can be worth more than any other investment,” he said.
He also said he would strengthen environment and monitoring authorities, which have been weakened under current president Jair Bolsonaro.
Brazil’s presidential election is in around six weeks’ time and sees left-winger Lula take on right-wing populist incumbent Bolsonaro.
Current polls show Lula ahead of Bolsonaro.
The preservation of the Amazon region is key for combating global climate change, but Bolsonaro sees it primarily in terms of economic benefit.
Lula was in office from 2003 to 2010.
In 2018, he was sentenced to around 12 years in prison for corruption and money laundering and was therefore unable to take part in the 2018 election that Bolsonaro won.
Lula was released early from prison in 2019 and last year Brazil’s highest court overturned his sentence, allowing him to return to the political stage.