Ministers from Amazonian countries expressed their interest in the integral conservation of the Amazon region, in Nagoya | WWF

Ministers from Amazonian countries expressed their interest in the integral conservation of the Amazon region, in Nagoya

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29 October 2010
Nagoya, October 29. During the 10th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), in an event organized jointly by REDPARQUES and the Amazon Cooperation Treaty Organization (ACTO), the first regional report on the implementation of the Programme of Work on Protected Areas (PoWPA) in the Amazon biome was launched, together with the regional action plan for the 2011-2020 period.

The regional report on the implementation of the PoWPA brings together the work of the Heads of protected areas in Amazonian countries for the purpose of building a conservation strategy which based on the experiences within the national systems of protected areas, aims at complementing conservation efforts at a regional level.

The ministers expressed their will to back the implementation of the action plan for the next ten years, with the support of REDPARQUES, the CBD secretariat, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), WWF and the participation of the ACTO, confirming the interest in working together in favor of conservation in the region. They also pointed out the importance of advancing joint conservation efforts in the Amazon to ensure the maintenance of environmental services and the region’s resilience against climate change.

Protected areas are an essential tool in any sustainable development strategy, as well as in the conservation of ecological and cultural diversity. The national systems of protected areas in the Amazon of nine countries represent about 21% of the region’s area, without taking into account the 26% of indigenous lands and territories in other categories that contribute to the conservation of biodiversity. 78% of all protected areas created around the world between 2003 and 2009 are within the Amazon biome and represent 2.16% of all protected areas in the world. This effort has been recognized on the third edition of the Global Perspective on Biological Diversity report (“Perspectiva Mundial sobre Diversidad Biológica” in Spanish) as one of the main results in terms of biodiversity conservation over the last decade.

“It is important to recognize the essential work that the managers of protected areas have done during this process. Protected areas are a key tool in sustainable development strategies and the conservation of ecological and cultural diversity”, said Carlos Castaño, Colombian Vice-Minister of the Environment.

“We hope to work together on this regional initiative for the conservation of the Amazon and to contribute to the success of COP 10”, said the Brazilian Minister of the Environment, Izabella Teixeira. “We must recognize the work done in this sense so far, which has yielded amazing results, but also provides a political tool for the pending work. We need the international community to recognize the importance of this work and provide the necessary financial support for its continuation.”

One of the main difficulties found in the implementation of the regional programme of work has been the lack of financial resources: there is a gap of US $ 500 million in the financial support and more than US $ 150 million per year in recurrent expenses.

“The fact that all the ministers are willing to cooperate is very positive. The possibility of joint work is essential in order to conserve one of the most important regions in the world. WWF is committed to supporting the implementation of the action plan and the regional joint work”, added Yolanda Kakabadse, WWF President.

Floating house and man in canoe Mamirau‡, Amazonia, Brazil
© Roger Leguen / WWF