Information on Amazonian biodiversity and endangered species is available on the internet.
Observing the guidelines of the Amazon Cooperation Treaty (TCA) signed by eight Amazon countries, the Amazon Cooperation Treaty Organization (ACTO) launched this Wednesday, November 10, 2021, the Amazon Regional Observatory (ARO), a reference center for information on the Amazon Region in the themes Biodiversity, Species Listed in the CITES Convention, Forests, Water Resources, and Indigenous Peoples.
Installed at ACTO headquarters, the Observatory promotes access to information and data produced and made available by the eight ACTO Member Countries – Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Peru, Suriname, and Venezuela. Scientific institutions of Member Countries provide data to feed the ORA.
The Observatory fosters the flow and exchange of information among institutions, government authorities, the scientific and academic community, and civil society in the Amazonian countries. Information is presented through reports, dynamic panels, and geographic displays, and data and thematic indicators for the Amazon Region are made accessible. The ARO will be in permanent evolution according to the needs of the countries and to the orientatios of the Amazonian Strategic Cooperation Agenda. The Biodiversity and CITES modules are complete, while the Water Resources and Forests modules are in the data validation process. In 2022, the development of the Indigenous Peoples module will begin.
ARO’s main objectives are to facilitate and promote access to information produced by the Member Countries through a virtual space for storing, exchanging, and sharing information about the Amazon Region; to prepare and disseminate regional reports and documents on priority thematic content; to establish a mechanism for the dissemination, visibility, and standardization of information flow that will be available at the regional level; and carry out the monitoring of thematic indicators and generation of predictive models.
The development and the installation of the ARO were funded by the Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) of the Federal Republic of Germany through KfW – Development Bank, under the Bioamazon Project implemented by ACTO. Between 2019 and 2021, approximately 1 million dollars were invested in the Observatory for infrastructure work, purchase of equipment, and development of the platform. The Brazilian Cooperation Agency (ABC) and the National Water and Basic Sanitation Agency (ANA) also supported the observatory with investments in the order of 180 thousand dollars.
The face-to-face event, was transmitted live through ACTO channels on social networks, and was attended by ACTO General Secretary, Alexandra Moreira; the German Ambassador to Brazil, Heiko Thoms, the Director of KfW in Brazil, Martin Schröder, as well as officials from the Diplomatic Corps based in Brasilia, among which are the ambassadors of the Amazon countries.
Alexandra Moreira recalled that the Regional Observatory has been a desire of countries since the conception of the Amazon Cooperation Treaty. “In 1978, the Member Countries understood the urgency and need for the sustainable management of the natural resources of this region, through the monitoring and control of wild flora and fauna species, the exchange of information, good practices, the establishment of joint management systems and cooperation at the different levels of government, academia, science and society in general”, she explained.
In his speech, the ambassador of Germany, Heiko Thoms, expressed that the AmazonRegional Observatory is an important milestone for ACTO and stressed Its great potential to contribute to the conservation of Amazonian forests and species with integrated and sustainable management. “The cooperative relations with ACTO started in 2002 focused on supporting the implementation of CITES, and the launching of the Observatory today should be an important contribution to the sustainable development of the Amazon”, said Heiko Thoms, Ambassador of Germany in Brazil during the inauguration of ARO.
Martin Schröder, director of KfW in Brazil, said that the Amazon Regional Observatory increases transparency in the management of knowledge about the Amazon. He also highlighted the importance of ACTO as the articulating instance in the issues of countries of the region. “We appreciate the technical dialogue with ACTO with a view to promoting the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity”, he said.
The Secretary-General of CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora), Ivonne Higuero, and the Executive Secretary of GBIF (Global Biodiversity Information Infrastructure), Joe Miller, sent videotaped messages greeting the launching of the Observatory. Recently, ACTO has joined the GBIF as an associated institution.
Ivonne Higuero congratulated ACTO and commented that “the center will formalize the exchange of information between institutions, government authorities, scientists, academics and civil society from Amazonian countries, thus supporting our common work. We also welcome that CITES is one of the thematic modules of the Observatory”, she said.
GBIF Executive Secretary Joe Miller highlighted that it includes 41 voting participants and 20 associated countries, adding ACTO. “GBIF looks forward to working with the Amazon Cooperation Treaty Organization to increase the amount of data that is available to the Amazon Regional Observatory for evidence-based decision-making,” he said.
Thematic examples were presented. ANA’s Deputy Superintendent of Operations and Critical Events, Alessandra Daibert Couri, presented the Water Resources Situation Room and the Regional Water Quality Monitoring Network (RR-MCA). The Earth Sciences General Coordinator, deputy of the National Institute for Space Research (INPE), Luiz Eduardo Oliveira and Cruz de Aragão, presented INPE monitoring systems.
Learn more about the Amazon Regional Observatory
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