Loosing the Amazon forest means loosing the battle against climate change | WWF

Loosing the Amazon forest means loosing the battle against climate change

Posted on 19 October 2015    
Regional dialogue on Amazon protected areas and climate change
© Integration of the Amazon Protected Areas (IAPA)

Bogotá, October 15th. “Loosing the Amazon forest means loosing the battle against climate change” said Rachel Braziel, chief of Politics, Press and Information of the European Union Delegation in Colombia. She was giving a welcome speech for the Regional dialogue on Amazon protected areas and climate change, which got together Directors of the Protected Areas Systems of the Amazon countries, OTCA delegates, European Union countries delegates and staff of the Colombian environment sector.


During this meeting, organized by the Integration of the Amazon protected areas (IAPA) project, different ideas and points of view about the Amazon forest conservation and it’s protected areas role in climate change adaptation and mitigation were explored. The panelists and the general public discussed topics like Governance, livelihoods, Colombia’s strategy to manage this territory, the international cooperation role on it and many more.


The introduction was made by the European Union, which finances the IAPA project. The EU recognized and highlighted the importance of the Amazon Biome for the regional, national and local levels. “The fact that this dialogue is having place in Colombia is not casualty. The European Union supports actions that contribute to peace and the Amazon forest is essential to achieve peace” said Brazier.


The Amazon forest is a key topic in COP21. There is data on its role on mitigating climate change but also on adapting to it thanks to the ecosystem services that it offers and its relation to indigenous peoples and ancient cultures. “The wealth of the Amazon forest lies not only in the importance of it ecosystem services but the cultural richness of the it allies" said Laura García, Chief of Cooperation and International Matters in Parques Nacionales Naturales de Colombia.


Ignacio Gómez, Director of Visión Amazonía confirmed that the Colombian government strategy for the Amazon forest is to integrate different proposals and plans that revolve around this territory counting on the International Cooperation support and taking into account Colombia’s commitments to reduce emissions in the context of the COP21 and its deforestations reduction goals.


On the other hand, Marcos Pastor, Redparques delegate for this dialogue, explained that the role of this 19 countries network is to promote successful experiences and achieve cooperation actions around protected areas. This includes conservation and valuation of ecosystem services related to the local communities welfare. “To Redparques, the protection of biodiversity must be related to peoples quality of life.”


According to Caroline Merle, Executive Director of the French National Forestry Office, from France’s perspective as COP21’s host, her country’s role in the conservation of the Amazon forest relates not only to the importance of this territory for the entire world but to the 9 million hectares of the Amazon biome located in French Guyana.


According to her, a big part of this territory has been integrated to Redparques and 5.300 hectares are being sustainably managed. “France recognizes the importance of the Amazon forest, its conservation, the valuation of it ecosystem services and its contribution to climate regulation,” said Merle.


One of the main conclusions of this dialogue was the acknowledgment of the great challenge that means reconciling the development interests of each country and getting them in tune with the urgent actions needed to tackle climate change. No doubt, Redparques’s Declaration on Protected Areas and Climate Change is a previous achievement to these negotiations because it already represents the agreement between various countries and in the same time holds a Latin-American position in the world climate negotiations.

Regional dialogue on Amazon protected areas and climate change
© Integration of the Amazon Protected Areas (IAPA) Enlarge

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