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UN chief praises Brazil for environmental protection
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13:08, November 13, 2007

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UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon Monday praised Brazil's commitments in fighting climate change and expressed support for its biofuel programs.

Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva expressed "his strong support for the international community working together to address global warming issues," Ban told reporters after a meeting with the president.

He praised the nation's efforts in developing biofuels, saying that "biofuels hold great promise in our common efforts to develop renewable and alternate sources of energy while we are addressing global warming issues."

Biofuels have proved controversial even within the United Nations and the UN special rapporteur on the Right to Food, Jean Ziegler, has described the rising enthusiasm for them as "a disaster."

Ban said Lula had assured him that the country's food supplies will not be affected by the increased cultivation of crops for biofuels, and he also promised efforts to protect the Amazon rainforest.

The UN chief was due to fly to the Amazon River basin later Monday, where he will visit an indigenous village Tuesday.

Ban met Lula on his second day in Brazil, part of a week-long tour of South America to see the impacts of climate change. On Friday, he visited the Antarctic and examined the melting polar ice cap.

His tour of the Antarctic and South America has been part of the preparations for the December summit in Indonesia's Bali to outline a new international agreement to succeed the Kyoto Protocol after it expires in 2012.

Source: Xinhua

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