ASL NEWSLETTER | November 2023

en español | em português

Dear ASL Friends,

Collaboration has been and will be essential to effectively and timely address the multiple challenges facing the Amazon, such as the current drought affecting large areas of the region. The ASL is built upon the collaboration between institutions, communities, and allies and celebrates the strengthening of spaces for cooperation between various institutions committed to the protection of Amazonian ecosystems. Collaboration will be the central focus of our next annual conference, where we look forward to meeting the partners who are part of and actively participate in the ASL from the seven (soon to be eight) countries.

Several examples of collaboration along issues that require critical attention are highlighted in this newsletter. Particularly, the partnership established between the ASL, Amazon Regional Alliance for the Reduction of the Impacts of Gold Mining (ARAIMO, its acronym in Spanish), and Conservation Strategy Fund (CSF), which has led to increased multi-country, multi-stakeholder dialogue on issues related to illegal mining and mercury contamination, as well as generation and dissemination of information for better decision making.

At an institutional level, an alliance was recently signed between the World Bank and the Inter-American Development Bank. Both institutions have joined forces in a four-year commitment that will focus on three main areas to drive impactful development in Latin America and the Caribbean. One of those main areas will boost support for net-zero deforestation efforts in the Amazon. The ASL team looks forward to this partnership and how it will translate into strengthened efforts that contribute to the goals of the program and national projects.

We look forward to continuing to join forces within the ASL projects and with other stakeholders, maintaining our dedication to uniting our collective strengths in the ongoing mission to protect and sustainably develop the Amazon region for the well-being of future generations.

Warm regards,
The ASL Regional Team 

News at a glance (scroll down to read more)

  • Strengthening regional collaboration to address the impacts of mercury pollution in the Amazon
  • Indigenous youth on cultural identity and a livable planet
  • Joining a global declaration for the protection of river dolphins
  • Study shows significant economic and social benefits from ASL restoration projects

Amazon Voices: Celebrating Park Rangers

  • Katerin Iquiapaza, Park Ranger, Quillabamba, Peru 

Stories from our national projects

  • ASL Brazil supports more than 10 Fishing Agreements in the state of Amazonas
  • Reforesting the Heart of the Amazon unites Colombian farmers – Forest Conservation and Sustainability in the Heart of the Colombian Amazon project
  • The path to green financing in the agricultural sector in Peru – Sustainable Productive Landscapes in the Peruvian Amazon
  • Communications workshops for farmers in the Colombian Amazon – Sustainable Amazon for Peace project
  • Launch of the ASL2 Ecuadorian Project – Biodiversity conservation and sustainable management of two priority landscapes in the Ecuadorian Amazon Region 

Next ASL webinar 

  • November 9: Achieving the 30x30 Target in Latin America and the World – Guidance for Implementation

ASL-recommended publication & resources

Strengthening regional collaboration to address the impacts of mercury pollution in the Amazon

Illegal mining in the Amazon region affects ecosystems and their biodiversity and the health of local and Indigenous communities. These effects are exacerbated by the indiscriminate use of mercury, a toxic metal used to separate gold in the mining process.

This illicit practice in the Amazon has been increasing in parallel with the increase in gold prices and the growing participation of illegal groups. With the purpose of generating attention and action to tackle this situation, the ASL’s regional project facilitated the development of a series of activities to strengthen regional collaboration in the fight against the impacts of gold mining and mercury pollution. This process began in 2021 with a focus on Brazil, Colombia, and Peru in association with the Foundation for Conservation and Sustainable Development (FCDS), which leads the Amazon Regional Alliance for the Reduction of the Impacts of Gold Mining (ARAIMO), and Conservation Strategy Fund (CSF).

Read more here

Story Map: Amazon, the Lost Land (in Spanish)

Indigenous youth on cultural identity and a livable planet

This year, the International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples recognized the efforts of Indigenous youth to support sustainable development, along with their pursuit of justice and preservation of their culture and traditions. To celebrate this day, the World Bank interviewed Indigenous youth leaders from around the world, including Eglenis Valerio of the Ticuna people and Danixa Moreno of the Nonuya people from the Amazon region, who highlighted the importance of strengthening and revitalizing their connection with the environment as key to their identity. 

Photo: Danixa Moreno, of the Nonuya people

Read more

Joining a global declaration for the protection of river dolphins

Eleven South American and Asian countries signed a historic agreement in Bogota, Colombia, on October 24th to save the world's six surviving species of river dolphins from extinction. The Global Declaration for River Dolphins was a crucial initiative aimed at safeguarding river dolphins and the health of their habitats. 

River dolphins serve as vital indicators of river ecosystem health, affecting economies and millions of people. They are found in the Amazon and Orinoco river basins in South America and in several river basins in Asia. Since 1980, river dolphin populations have declined by more than 70% due to multiple threats such as pollution, mining, hydroelectric dams, unsustainable fishing practices, and habitat loss.

The Global Declaration addresses these challenges through a multi-pronged approach. It encourages collaboration among governments, communities, private sectors, NGOs, and research institutions to combat threats at all levels. The declaration emphasizes the need for critical research to gather essential data, strengthen protection through well-managed protected areas, and commit to specific actions for conservation. 

The ASL joined this global movement for river dolphin conservation, benefiting not only these iconic species but also the rivers and the people who depend on them. Collaboration and shared best practices can ensure the survival of river dolphins and their ecosystems.

Read more

Study shows significant economic and social benefits from ASL restoration projects

The ASL Regional Project commissioned Climate Focus to examine the social and economic impacts of the ASL1-supported restoration projects and provide recommendations for scaling up. The primary focus of the study was on employment opportunities resulting from forest restoration.

The study analyzed the four ASL1 projects in Colombia, Peru, and Brazil, which involved various restoration activities and quantified direct and indirect employment generated by these activities.

The findings revealed that all projects created substantial direct employment, both from passive and active restoration activities, with potential for greater economic benefits and rural livelihood improvement. The study highlights important opportunities for women, contributing to equitable rural development.

Read the full publication resulting from the study in English, Spanish, or Portuguese.

Amazon Voices: Celebrating Park Rangers

Katerin Iquiapaza is a passionate park ranger in the Machiguenga Communal Reserve, located in the Peruvian Amazon. Since joining in 2020, she has invested all her energy to conserving biodiversity and supporting the Indigenous population living in the areas she is committed to protect.  

She has been able to maintain constant communication and gain trust with the local communities despite barriers from not speaking the languages of the Machiguenga, Ashaninka, Kakinte, and Yine-Yami native ethnicities that live in the Reserve. 

Her responsibilities include environmental education and collaborating with local communities to foster cooperation and communication with neighboring communities. Additionally, she places great importance on bolstering the skills of park rangers across different domains.

“Being a park ranger in the Amazon involves having great sensitivity and love towards what surrounds us, such as the forest, the river, native communities, and everything in it.”

– Katerin Iquiapaza, Park Ranger, Quillabamba, Peru

The ASL acknowledges Katerin’s valuable contributions to her community. Through her dedication and enthusiasm, she inspires people to reflect on how their work or knowledge can encourage a sense of responsibility and respect towards both the environment and other members of the community.

The ASL wants to celebrate park rangers working in the Amazon. If you have stories, please reach out and we can share.

Stories from our national projects

Support to more than 10 Fishing Agreements in the state of Amazonas Amazon Sustainable Landscapes – Brazil

In the state of Amazonas, Conservation International-Brazil has supported 13 Fishing Agreements through the Amazon Sustainable Landscapes (ASL Brazil) project, with 8 of them established in the Apuaú, Quiuini, Demeni, Caurés, Padauiri, Aracá, Rio Negro, and Acajatuba rivers in the Rio Negro area, totaling more than 1.6 million hectares. Additionally, five other agreements have been implemented in the Tapauá Estuary, Tupana, Purus, and Cuieiras rivers, as well as around the Canutama Forest, amounting to nearly 120,000 hectares. Photo credit: SEMA – Amazonas/Brasil

Learn more (in Portuguese)

Reforesting the Heart of the Amazon unites Colombian farmers Forest Conservation and Sustainability in the Heart of the Colombian Amazon project

In Guaviare, Colombia, more than 560 conservation agreements have been voluntarily signed with rural families. These agreements involve the commitment to reforest areas to connect strategic high biodiversity corridors protecting both forests and water resources. The participatory efforts that lead to social agreements have promoted a transformational change towards sustainable bioeconomy practices.

Cristian Castañeda is a young leader from the municipality of Calamar, Guaviare, who talks about the project that has benefited his family and entire community along with protecting and restoring a forest.

Learn more (in Spanish)

The path to green financing in the agricultural sector in Peru Sustainable Productive Landscapes in the Peruvian Amazon

The ASL project Sustainable Productive Landscapes in the Peruvian Amazon (PPS) promotes sustainable and deforestation-free agricultural practices in Peru's agricultural sector, contributing to mainstreaming environmental considerations in other sectors. In collaboration with the Ministry of Agrarian Development and Irrigation, environmental sustainability criteria and indicators are being introduced in investment funds and programs in the agricultural sector, such as in the Compensation Program for Competitiveness (AGROIDEAS)—allowing producers to access funds to adopt more environmentally friendly technologies. This initiative seeks to reconcile agricultural production with environmental protection and promote responsible and competitive production in the international market. Implementing environmental criteria in public financing funds contributes to the Green Finance Roadmap, led by the Ministry of Environment, which seeks to promote environmental management in financial institutions and meet environmental objectives. To date, AGROIDEAS has invested in 804 business plans for more than 27,510 producers, paving the way for more responsible production in line with international market demands.

Learn more (in Spanish)

Communications workshops for farmers in the Colombian Amazon Sustainable Amazon for Peace project

Over the last five years, a group of farmer organizations in the Yarí Sabanas region (Caquetá and Meta departments) and the Perla Amazonica Farmer Reserve Zone in Colombia have established teams composed of youth dedicated to communications activities as part of the ASL Colombian project’s sustainable production activities. With the project’s support, these teams have been trained at communications workshops for farmers in audiovisual production, enhancing the learning process through intergenerational dialogue. The teams learn to narrate results achieved in protection, restoration, and sustainable production activities, highlighting positive changes by communities towards natural resource use. Photo by Mauricio Ballestero/PNUD Colombia

Learn more about these stories and enjoy the short documentary made by the local communities:

Voices of the river, stories from the farmers of the Amazon Pearl (in Spanish)

Voices of the Yarí, stories of peace and nature in Caquetá (in Spanish)

Launch of the ASL2 Ecuadorian Project Biodiversity Conservation and Sustainable Management of Two Priority Landscapes in the Ecuadorian Amazon Region 

The ASL2 Ecuadorian Amazon region project was launched August 3rd during an event organized in Sucumbíos, Ecuador. The project seeks to improve ecological connections in two priority landscapes: Aguarico-Napo and Palora-Pastaza, and to strengthen management mechanisms that ensure the long-term conservation of biodiversity and ecosystems. The event was opened by José Dávalos, Minister of Environment, Water and Ecological Transition, and Luis Suárez, Director of Conservation International-Ecuador.

The project’s initial targets include the demarcation of 50,000 hectares as special areas for biodiversity conservation and the promotion of sustainable production practices and bioeconomy in 120,000 hectares.

Read more (in Spanish)

Next ASL webinars

Achieving the 30x30 Target in Latin America and the World – Guidance for Implementation

Thursday, November 9, 2023

9:00 – 10:30 am EST

With simultaneous interpretation in English, Spanish and Portuguese

Given the strategic role conservation areas play in guaranteeing global and national environmental benefits, a key target of the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF) aims to ensure 30% of terrestrial, aquatic, and marine areas are effectively conserved (Target 3).

To help countries implement activities to achieve this target, a new guide: “30x30: A Guide to Inclusive, Equitable and Effective Implementation of Target 3 of the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework” was developed by WWF, IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas (WCPA), and The Nature Conservancy (TNC), with funding from the GEF. The guide is an introductory “how-to” for implementers tasked with protecting 30% of the planet by 2030. The webinar offers an opportunity for participants to discuss how to fulfill this ambitious target in ways that are inclusive, equitable, and effective, with a focus on Latin America but with relevance for countries worldwide aiming to protect high biodiversity areas.

More information and link to register here

The Road to Greening Transportation Infrastructure in the Amazon: Enabling Policies and Regulations

Tuesday, November 28, 2023 I 9:00 – 10:30 am EST

With simultaneous interpretation in English, Spanish and Portuguese

Transportation infrastructure plays a crucial role in connecting communities and driving socioeconomic development. However, current planning approaches often fail to adequately address critical environmental considerations, leading to significant adverse impacts on biodiversity and ecosystems. In the Amazon region, transportation infrastructure has been closely linked to deforestation, habitat fragmentation, biodiversity loss, and reduced ecosystem services, jeopardizing the welfare of Indigenous and local peoples, and pushing the biome closer to irreversible tipping points.

This session is part of a webinar series that will explore the transformative potential of policies and regulatory frameworks to tackle conditions related to transportation infrastructure and to foster national systems that support the ecological integrity of the Amazon biome. The webinar will explore Amazon case studies that have sought to mainstream environmental considerations into policies, regulations, and guidelines that then shape transportation infrastructure development in the Amazon.

More information and link to register here

Replay previous webinars:

Find more details and recordings of previous ASL webinars here

ASL-recommended publications, resources & events

* ASL partners and teams: Please share with us your publications to showcase in future newsletters. 

Launch of GEF’s Interactive Geospatial Platform

The Global Environment Facility (GEF) has launched a new interactive geospatial platform that shows the impacts of the activities it funds, identifying both progress and areas of need as countries work to build a nature-positive, carbon-neutral, and pollution-free world.

The GEF Geospatial Platform integrates satellite imagery with localized data of 1,500 projects, enabling policymakers, financiers, and other stakeholders to see shifts in land and sea health over time. The free, online platform reflects the GEF’s commitment to providing transparent access to its work and to show where investments are getting results.

Access the platform here

Forging Resilient Pathways

Scaling up Funding in Support of Indigenous Peoples’ and Local Communities’ Tenure and Forest Guardianship in the Global South

This report presents the first global analysis of funding pathways in support of Indigenous Peoples’ and Local Communities’ (IPs' & LCs') tenure and forest guardianship, a project spurred by the IP & LC Forest Tenure Pledge made by 22 donors in 2021.

This study, commissioned by the Ford Foundation, aims to provide practical guidance and strategic insights for pledge donors to incorporate in the remaining years of implementation.

Read more here

SPA presents policy brief at the UN:

Supporting socio-bioeconomies of healthy standing forests and flowing rivers in the Amazon

At the 78th session of the UN General Assembly on September 22nd, the event “Supporting Bioeconomies of a Healthy Standing Forest and Flowing Rivers in the Amazon” highlighted the potential for a bioeconomy of healthy standing forests and flowing rivers in the Amazon. The Science Panel for the Amazon (SPA) presented a policy brief outlining the need for a new bioeconomy in the Amazonian region and providing science-based, data-driven recommendations to conserve the forest, transform the Amazonian economy, and support Amazonian peoples. ASL coordinator Ana María González joined the panel.

Download the policy brief here

Policy recommendations from the Colombia Country Climate and Development Report

The World Bank Group Country Climate and Development Report (CCDR) for Colombia provides policy recommendations to achieve a resilient and equitable development that will require swift and far-reaching reforms across a wide spectrum of issues.

They include:

  • Improve coordination across agencies and levels of government.
  • Dramatically reduce deforestation, transform the agriculture sector to become climate-smart, invest in resilient and low-carbon transport and energy systems, ensure social protection systems effectively buffer climate impacts on the vulnerable, and invest in a just transition as demand for fossil fuels declines.
  • Increase fiscal revenues to enable the government to pay for its share of climate investment.
  • Put the entire economy, especially the private sector, in a position to do its part in moving Colombia along its climate transition.
Download the report here

A new "one stop shop" for climate-related information, data and tools

The World Bank´s Climate Change Knowledge Portal (CCKP) provides an online tool for global data on historical and future climate, vulnerabilities, and impacts that can be explored via country and watershed views. Synthesized country profiles can also be accessed to gain deeper insights into climate risks and adaptation actions.

Amazon countries include Brazil, Colombia, and Ecuador

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