STATEMENT: Amazon Countries Put Forth Bold New Vision for the Rainforest and its People
August 8, 2023
Now an Actionable Plan is Needed to Boost Investment in Favor of the Forest and the Amazon People
BELÉM, BRAZIL (August 8, 2023) – Today, eight countries of the Amazon Basin agreed to a major new declaration that puts forth a unified vision to protect the rainforest.
In the lead up to the summit, around 300 leaders from 100 organizations from within and beyond the Amazon region supported by Conservation International, World Resources Institute (WRI) and multiple partners delivered a set of recommendations for advancing a Pan-Amazon network and workplan on bioeconomy to the heads of state and ministers of the Amazon countries.
WRI also released a landmark study finding that with the right actions, ending deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon will not curb development, but rather create new jobs, grow GDP, improve people’s lives, and keep climate goals within reach.
An earlier report by Conservation International, the Exponential Roadmap for Natural Climate Solutions, revealed that there is no path to a climate-safe future without preventing deforestation and other destructive activities in the forests of the Amazon.
Following is a statement from Rachel Biderman, Senior Vice President at Conservation International:
“The Summit Declaration offers an important commitment from public leaders, showing us a path forward to avoid critical tipping points in the Amazon. But how we remember this summit ultimately depends on what we do next. We will need to work in radical collaboration, under full transparency, to marshal resources to the region. We will have to set out specific targets, under rigid timeframes, across sectors. We must follow the lead of the traditional, Indigenous, Afro-descendants, and other local communities who are guardians of the forests. Their rights and needs must come first.
"There will be no shortage of challenges to address — with collaboration chief among them. The Amazon Cooperation Treaty Organization (OTCA) will play an important role, but it will need additional help from other partners. Also, focusing on the 40-plus million amazon population who need access to education, health, food security, and more, should be a major focus.
“There are still questions left to answer. But what has become crystal clear through this summit: There is no more time to waste, no more agendas to postpone, no more cans to kick. Anything short of immediate, transformative action will leave us without standing forest, imperiling the health of the world and the local communities who depend upon it.”
Following is a statement from Adriana Lobo, managing director, global presence and national action, World Resources Institute:
“The summit leaves us with immense hope that the Amazonian countries are uniting behind a better path for the rainforest and its people; and gathering global momentum towards a more sustainable economy.
“We have no time to waste. The Amazon is hurtling toward a tipping point that we must avoid, and not just because of nature, but because the Amazon’s 47 million people will face real consequences if we don’t — from farmers losing their livelihoods to Indigenous people losing their land and culture.
“Countries put forward the right ideas and principles to turn the tide in the Amazon. They recognized the need to avoid the Amazon tipping point through collective action - by expanding forest restoration and the bioeconomy to sustainably produce goods, shifting to low-carbon agriculture, and deploying clean energy.
“The Belem Declaration is a great first step. Now Amazon countries need to act on these ideas — by putting forth a plan with specific actions, policies, and milestones. And a strategy to attract financing to make it a reality.
“A new, stronger economy for the Amazon countries is not only possible, but vital to improving people’s lives and saving the rainforest that benefits all of humanity.”
About Conservation International: Conservation International protects nature for the benefit of humanity. Through science, policy, fieldwork and finance, we spotlight and secure the most important places in nature for the climate, for biodiversity and for people. With offices in 30 countries and projects in more than 100 countries, Conservation International partners with governments, companies, civil society, Indigenous peoples and local communities to help people and nature thrive together. Go to Conservation.org for more, and follow our work on Conservation News, Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, Instagram and YouTube.