The Declaration of Lima calls on governments to recognise the Pan-Amazon’s vital role in climate regulation and guarantee climate security for humanity



Posted on 08 August 2014  | 
© Brent Stirton / Getty Images
© Brent Stirton / Getty ImagesEnlarge
Entitled “Call of the Pan-Amazon”, the Declaration of Lima, launched in the Peruvian capital on Thursday, August 7, calls on governments of the nine countries with territories that compose the Amazon biome and all other countries in the world to recognize the importance of the Pan-Amazon as an opportunity and as a solution in the face of climate change because of its great contribution to climate regulation and its immense diversity.

The declaration also calls on the Peruvian government to play an essential role at the upcoming Conference of the Parts (UNFCCC CoP 20) to be held in Lima in December, in the sense of stressing how vital the region is to achieving the Climate Convention goals and objectives, and of demonstrating the need to value the Amazon, as well as the urgency of protecting its forests, rivers and all the services its ecosystems provide in the light of ongoing climate change. To that end integrated action is required to halt deforestation and guarantee the equilibrium of the ecological system’s functioning.

The Declaration is the result of the 3rd Pan-Amazon Meeting which brought around 200 people together, including representatives of governments, non-governmental organizations, social and indigenous movements and of the corporate world, to discuss the Amazon’s role and agree on recommendations for actors in various countries.

The meeting’s recommendations will be handed to Peru’s minister of the environment and president of the CoP20, Manuel Pulgar-Vildal and then distributed to important actors such as France, host country for the CoP-21 on climate, to banks and corporations, to the Amazon Cooperation Treaty Organisation (ACTO) and others. At the same time the “Call of the Pan-Amazon” delineates a roadmap for the actions of the organizations involved and for making the importance of the Amazon widely known at other events like the Peoples Summit on Climate Change.

During the 3rd Pan-Amazon Meeting in Lima Peru there was a presentation of the study “The Climatic Future of the Amazon” elaborated by scientist Antonio Donato Nobre of the Brazilian National Amazonian Research Institute (INPA). It explained the region’s fundamental role in stabilizing the global climate, maintaining the humidity of the air in South America and exporting airborne “rivers” of water vapour which, in the summer, form the raw material for the rains that irrigate the region; one third of all the rains that fall on the earth worldwide. The Amazon’s forests store between 90 and 140 billion metric tons of carbon, thereby performing a vital role in the fight against climate change.

“We are thinking and acting to defend the future of humanity, doing something for the most important region and for the lives of those that are here on the planet today and those yet to come. But we need to work harder and better with other sectors to ensure that this discussion on the responsibility we all have for the Amazon is expanded”, commented Claudio Maretti, leader of the WWF’s Living Amazon Initiative.

Organised by the Amazonian Regional Articulation (ARA) and co-promoted by the Peruvian Ministry of the Environment (MINAM) and organisations like WWF and the Climate and Development Alliance, the 3rd Pan-Amazon Meeting provided a space for dialogue in which to discuss and define a priorities agenda and a roadmap for the collaborative work ahead in the lead up to the CoP20.

The Pan-Amazon extends over an area of 6.7 million km2 occupying parts of nine countries – Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Venezuela, Guyana, Suriname and French Guiana/France. Around 33 million people and 350 indigenous groups live in the Amazon and 60 of those groups live in isolation. 40% of the worlds remaining rainforests are to be found in the Amazon as well as at least 10% of all known biodiversity.

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