The Belem Declaration – an Opportunity for Guyana by Ulric O’D Trotz

Recently, eight countries that are home to the Amazon: Brazil, Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Peru, Suriname, and Venezuela and three other tropical forest rich countries, Indonesia, The Republic of Congo and the Democratic Republic of Congo met in Belem at the invitation of Brazil’s President Lula, to consider actions that are required to arrest the present rate of destruction of this critical global ecosystem. The Amazonian countries met as a group on the first day of the two day meeting, to consider an Amazonian action program to stem the tide of Amazonian deforestation and degradation. The other three countries joined the meeting on the second day.
At the end of the meeting countries issued the Belem Declaration, which essentially is a call for action to arrest the degradation of global tropical forest ecosystems and to maintain access to the essential services they provide, through the employment of sustainable development practices. Areas highlighted for action are in climate change, monitoring and cooperation in water resources management , protection of forests, Amazonian coastal areas, vulnerable ecosystems and biodiversity and it emphasised the importance of Indigenous rights and protection. It also called for the establishment of a science body to meet annually and produce authoritative reports on science related to the Amazon rainforest, performing a role similar to that of the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. READ MORE

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