Amazon countries advocate science-based strengthening of ACTO

Aug 8, 2023News

During the opening of the Amazon Summit on Tuesday (8), the Secretary General of the Amazon Cooperation Treaty Organization (ACTO), Alexandra Moreira, said that the Belém Declaration is a bold commitment to the integral vision that has dealt with understanding the Amazon in its broadest dimension as a complex biome that requires management measures and that has faced a series of threats to its integrity. 

The President of Brazil, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, recalled that the first Summit was held in Belém (PA) in 1980, two years after the Amazon Cooperation Treaty. “Based on this agreement, we founded the world’s first socio-environmental bloc, the Amazon Cooperation Treaty Organization (ACTO). Institutional strengthening will be based on science. The Amazon Regional Observatory, which gathers data on topics such as water resources, health, biodiversity and climate change, will provide inputs for our public policies and cooperation initiatives,” he said.

According to Alexandra, there is a double challenge for the implementation of the Declaration, the first is to be an urgent action and the second, to develop public policies based on scientific evidence and the production of regionalized scenarios. “These scientific scenarios demonstrate the need for zero deforestation by 2030, and one of the measures to achieve this goal is the fight against illicit and organized crime in various Amazonian territories,” she explained.

“This Declaration with new guidelines not only gives impetus to ACTO, but also to each of the governments of the countries to strengthen themselves at the national level, respecting their Amazonian territories, especially in border areas, revitalizing the bi and tri-national cooperation agendas. I want to express our gratitude for the proposal to attend ACTO to reinforce, strengthen and modernize the institution and governance”, thanked the Secretary General. 

Colombia, Peru, Bolivia and Guyana talk about sustainable agenda

The President of Colombia, Gustavo Petro, said that the consensus is written in the Declaration on the climate crisis. Prime Minister of Guyana Mark-Anthony Phillips highlighted that ACTO is working to implement the strategic sustainable development agenda for the region, where climate change and its consequences are a concern.

Bolivian President Luis Alberto Arce said the meeting of the Amazon countries represents a concern for our common home, the Amazon. “Our mission is to care for this unique ecosystem and promote sustainable development,” he said. Peruvian President Dina Boluarte said that “never before in history has the Amazon been so threatened, so we are gathered for the purpose of integrated and inclusive development”. 

Venezuela, Ecuador and Suriname highlight socio-biodiversity 

The Vice President of Venezuela, Delcy Rodríguez, recalled that more than 400 indigenous peoples live in the region and that there is an immense diversity of vegetation types. “At this moment we are called to think about an Amazonian identity in the strengthening of institutionality and also about what Amazonian identity means,” she warned.

“We have to move from a model of life based on exploitation to one focused on conservation, where biodiversity and ecosystem services are the cornerstone of our development,” commented Ecuador’s Foreign Minister Gustavo Manrique Miranda. 

Suriname’s Foreign Minister Albert Randim stressed that Amazonian countries need to agree and make harmonious efforts for sustainable development in the region. “We need to act for the environment. This requires strengthening cooperation between countries through technological exchange,” he said. 

Summit participants

Also present at the Summit from ACTO were the Executive Director, Carlos Lazary, and the Administrative Director responsible for forestry, Carlos Salinas. In addition, representatives of civil society, ministers of state and other authorities from the Amazon countries participated.


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