International event discusses climate change impacts on the Acre River basin
In 2015, one of the most important rivers in northern Brazil, the River Acre, experienced the greatest flood in its history. The river rose a full 18 metres and the record flooding drastically affected 87 thousand people, leading the Government of Acre to declare a state of calamity. Many specialists have alleged that the phenomenon was the result of climate change.
To discuss the changes and prepare a plan that can help the inhabitants of the region to deal with extreme climate events, the 10th edition of the MAP (Madre de Díos, Acre and Pando) Forum is being held on the campus of the Federal University of Acre (Ufac) in Rio Branco from November 9 to 11.
The forum is the work of the MAP Initiative – an articulation of social movements, first formed in 1999 with the aim of discussing issues related to the regions of Madre de Dios in Peru, Acre in Brazil and Pando in Bolivia. What these frontier territories involving three different countries have in common is that they are all part of the Acre River Basin, an area of over 310 thousand square kilometres in the south-western part of the Amazon.
In 2015, WWF-Brazil and the WWF Network’s Living Amazon Initiative are supporting the event and will seek to invigorate the discussions involving that region. Technical officers from WWF-Peru and WWF-Bolivia will also be taking part, alongside scientists, researchers, and representatives of government bodies and civil society associations, as well as authorities like mayors, heads of state government departments and public administrators.
During the Forum WWF-Brazil will be promoting a roundtable open to the public. It will take place in the Biological and Natural Sciences Centre of the Federal University (CCBN/Ufac), on November 11, starting at 10:30 am.
The roundtable is intended to show how land use management that concentrates on ecosystem services and river basins can contribute towards the conservation of the region as a whole. It is expected that experiences will be shared, a working agenda established and strategies identified to capacitate public managers and social actors.
According to WWF-Brazil’s joint coordinator of its Amazon Program, Ricardo Mello, the aim of the debates is to think through ways in which the region can adapt to climate phenomena and make more organized and adequate use of the River Acre’s water resources.
“People inhabiting this river basin are going through unusual periods of intense rains, intense drought and much flooding. There is a very serious change in course and it is necessary to think carefully about this new climate situation of extreme conditions”, Ricardo explained.
According to Andre Dias, Deforestation and Fostering a Forest Economy Strategy coordinator of the Living Amazon Initiative, climate change mitigation and adaptation activities need to be thought out and put into practice on the scale of the MAP region as a whole. “Decisions made in one place affect others and accordingly, dialogue and integrated planning are of fundamental importance; it is against that background that the MAP Forum is taking place”.
About the event
The 10th edition of the MAP Forum will include speeches, lectures, a fair, a business roundtable thematic panels and cultural presentations from Brazil, Peru and Bolivia. The programs that take place in parallel will address themes such as economics, infrastructure, human and environmental rights, regional planning, water, land and forests.
The opening of the event on the 9th will include addresses given by senator Jorge Viana and by former senator Marina Silva.