Amazon Sustainable Landscapes
NEWS | JUNE 2019
Dear Friends,

We are sending this updated version of the June newsletter to share the exciting news that the Global Environment Facility (GEF) Council has now formally approved the second phase of the ASL! At their meeting in Washington, D.C., last week the Council approved a record program to protect and conserve the global environment, including support in funding the ASL.
"We are very proud of our program and looking forward to the next phase to really contribute to a protected and productive Amazon that benefits not only the local people but the global community," said ASL Program Manager Adriana Moreira in this interview at the GEF Council Meeting.
Read below to learn more about the new countries, partners, and agencies that will be integrated into the second phase of the ASL, which we are still building, along with the latest highlights of the program and national projects.
Also, we have just released the English-verision of the ASL brochure that presents the ASL's work with countries in the region to jointly protect the Amazon’s globally important biodiversity, implement policies to promote sustainable use of its soil, and restore native vegetation cover.

Thank you for your support and we look forward to keeping you updated on both phases of the ASL.

The ASL Team 
News at a glance ( scroll down to read more )
  • Extending efforts to protect the Amazon
  • Q&A w/Thomas Lovejoy: Why the Amazon’s Biodiversity is critical for the globe
  • Bringing energy solutions to Amazon communities 
News from ASL countries
  • Protecting protected areas in the Peruvian Amazon
  • Brazil’s ARPA Transition Fund receives a further $20 million from the ASL
  • First regional protected area of the Colombian Amazon
  • Amazon Pact for Forests and Climate is signed in Colombia
  • Mayors of the Colombian Amazon adjust territorial land use plans to stop deforestation
Other news
  • Peruvian Congress approves law to promote a “sustainable Amazon”
  • ASL supports the Amazon wood museums to benefit local students/academia in Colombia
  • Equator Prize 2019 winners announced for local innovative climate solutions
Recent articles and publications from our partners
Extending efforts to protect the Amazon
Following the GEF's decision to consider the Amazon region as part of one of the Sustainable Forest Management Impact Programs for its seventh replenishment period (GEF-7), a second phase of the Amazon Sustainable Landscapes Program (ASL2) has been designed jointly by seven participating countries. Under ASL2, Bolivia, Ecuador, Guyana and Suriname will join Brazil, Colombia, and Peru to collectively seek to improve integrated landscape management and ecosystem conservation in specific areas of the Amazon region.
To support the design of ASL2, the ASL organized a workshop in Rio de Janeiro from September 25–28, 2018, where representatives from relevant governments, organizations, and agencies gathered technical inputs for the proposal and discussed priority actions to scale-up the program. In addition, virtual meetings were organized with a working group that included representatives from each country and agency. Bilateral support was received to prepare the additional national projects.

Read the workshop report in English HERE.
Read the workshop report in Spanish HERE.
Q&A with Thomas Lovejoy: Why the Amazon’s Biodiversity is critical for the globe 
To celebrate the International Day for Biological Diversity (May 22) the ASL team interviewed Thomas Lovejoy, an Amazon expert known as the “Godfather of Biodiversity". In fact, Lovejoy introduced the term biological diversity to the scientific community in 1980. In this conversation, Lovejoy answers questions about the importance of the Amazon, one of the last largely intact wilderness areas left in the world. The interview also includes his perspective on the challenges and solutions the region faces and the need for its management as an integrated ecosystem, responding to the recent report published by the Intergovernmental Platform on Biological Diversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES). 
Bringing energy solutions to Amazon communities 
The symposium Energy Solutions for Amazon Communities was held in Manaus, Brazil, March 25-28 with the support from various partners including the ASL. It was organized to showcase products and services, and generate solutions and recommendations on how to increase the use of alternative sources of energy (i.e. solar, wind, biomass) in isolated and remote Amazonian communities. This approach is in line with the sustainable development approach that also includes sustainable forest management, conservation of natural resources, and protection of the territories for the communities that live in the Amazon.

The event brought together 830 participants, including indigenous and community leaders from various states and countries of the Amazon; representatives from federal and state governments, the financial, industrial and commerce sectors, research centers, civil society organizations, and cooperation agencies; and entrepreneurs and students.
News from ASL countries:
Strengthening protected areas in the Peruvian Amazon
The Peruvian government announced its commitment to allocate $140 million to consolidate the management of 38 protected natural areas in the Amazon biome. These funds will be integrated into the Natural Heritage of Peru Initiative (Patrimonio del Peru-PdP), developed by the National Service of Protected Areas (SERNANP) with the objective of providing long-term sustainable financing for the effective management of the country's protected areas. The ASL project, Ensuring the Future of Peru's Natural Protected Areas, with WWF as its implementing agency, has been a promoter of this initiative by supporting the achievement of the enable conditions leading to the single agreement for the financial model. PdP funds for the Amazon come from multiple sources: the GEF through the ASL project, the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, and the Amazonian Andean Fund.

Peru’s commitment to conserve protected areas was also reflected on April 2nd when signing the Presidential Decree (No. 003-2019) declaring PdP an initiative of national interest.
Brazil’s ARPA Transition Fund receives a further $20 million from the ASL
The Amazon Region Protected Areas program (ARPA), in its 17th year, is the largest tropical forest conservation initiative on the planet. ARPA supports the consolidation and maintenance of 117 protected areas together covering 60 million hectares, or 15% of the Brazilian Amazon—an area equal to twice the area of Germany. The ARPA Transition Fund, an innovative Project Finance for Permanence mechanism established in 2014, is the core element of the program’s financial strategy that aims to gradually shift the financial support of these areas from donor to public funding over a 25-year timeframe, at which point Brazil’s federal and state governments and alternative sources will fully finance the program. 

To support this objective, Brazil allocated $30 million from its GEF-financed ASL project to the ARPA Transition Fund, and a grant agreement was signed to this effect in December 2017 between the Brazilian Biodiversity Fund (with FUNBIO, the Transition Fund manager) and the World Bank. Following compliance with conditions, an initial transfer of $20 million was completed, bringing the fund’s current holdings to approximately $138 million. Studies indicate that ARPA’s support has increased protected area-management effectiveness when compared to other non-ARPA-supported protected areas in the Brazilian Amazon. The overarching ASL is also supporting similar mechanisms in Colombia (Herencia Colombia) and Peru (Patrimonio del Peru) and is launching a capacity-building and knowledge-sharing activity around sustainable financing for protected areas learning from ARPA lessons and with the potential to scale-up and reach a broader audience. 
First regional protected area of the Colombian Amazon
Late last year, the Colombian Amazon welcomed the creation of a new protected area in the Regional Natural Park category: the Miraflores and Picachos Park, a result of collaborative efforts between Corpoamazonia, WWF, the Caquetá department, and municipal governments. With this park, it will be possible to protect 94% of the region’s high plateau paramo ecosystem, guarantee water supply for local inhabitants, and minimize the pressures on the territory. The ASL project in Colombia will support the following activities for the consolidation of the park: participatory design of the management plan, incorporation of local park rangers, development of a communication strategy, and support for the creation of civil society reserves in the buffer zones of the park. The project is currently working towards the establishment of new regional protected areas in Bajo Caguán (Caquetá) and San Jose del Guaviare (Guaviare).
Amazon Pact for Forests and Climate is signed in Colombia
In early May during the 11th World Governors Summit held in Florencia, Caquetá, the governors of six departments of the Colombian Amazon (Amazonas, Caquetá, Guainía, Guaviare, Putumayo and Vaupés), together with the Regional Autonomous Corporations Corpoamazonia and CDA, signed the "Amazon Pact for Forests and Climate" with the Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development. The pact aims to develop and implement a regional strategy to protect forests, promote climate change adaptation actions, and reduce the vulnerability of local communities through Integrated Climate Change Management Plans. The ASL project in Colombia Connectivity and Biodiversity Conservation in the Colombian Amazon, implemented by UNDP, and with the leadership of the SINCHI Institute, provides technical support for the development of the regional plans and their subsequent implementation.
Mayors of the Colombian Amazon adjust territorial land use plans to stop deforestation
On April 4th, 15 mayors from Amazonian municipalities in Colombia that suffer from higher levels of deforestation began working on a process to incorporate environmental considerations into intersectoral land use plans. Under the leadership of the Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development and the Regional Autonomous Corporations, with the support of the ASL-World Bank- implemented project Forest Conservation and Sustainability in the Heart of the Colombian Amazon—and the REM Vision Amazon program, this workshop resulted in determining guidelines for the adjustment and creation of land use territorial plans in these municipalities. Subsequently, in an ongoing process, seven municipalities in the departments of Putumayo and Caquetá advanced on their workplace to update their plans, with the technical support of the corresponding authorities.

This process has allowed progress in compliance with the Supreme Court Ruling ( STC 4360 of April 5, 2018 ), which recognizes the Colombian Amazon as an entity subject to rights, holder of protection, conservation, maintenance and restoration by the state and the territorial entities that comprise it; and requires municipalities to adjust their territorial zoning instruments to take into account climate change and the goal of zero deforestation. The ASL, in conjunction with other programs and agencies, will continue to support the process that also requires the definition of specific action plans for the governments and entities such as national parks seeking the common purpose of reducing deforestation.
Other news:
Peruvian Congress approves law to promote a “sustainable Amazon”
A law to promote the sustainable development of the Amazon was passed by Peru’s Congress during a plenary session on May 16th, an initiative that was also approved unanimously in the Andean Peoples Commission of the Parliament. According to the approved text, the objective of the law is to promote the development of the Amazon in four central areas: food security, territorial planning, sustainable development, and productive value chains. 
ASL supports the Amazon wood museums to benefit local students/academia in Colombia
With samples collected from 400 trees in the Amazon, biologist Carlos Rodríguez of the Tropenbos Foundation and 20 indigenous co-researchers created an innovative system to teach children (and adults) about the forest’s biodiversity. With the support of the ASL, Patrimonio Natural, and other partners, researchers have consolidated and assembled a large reference collection, becoming "mobile wood museums", that have already reached two indigenous schools. They continue to collect new samples and plan to extend the project to other communities and ultimately reach universities to allow indigenous experts to interact with students, professors and researchers from other regions in Colombia.

Equator Prize 2019 winners announced for local innovative climate solutions
On June 5th, six indigenous communities from the Amazon regions in Brazil and Peru have been awarded (along with 16 others across the globe) the 10th Equator Prize as a recognition for their innovative, nature-based solutions for tackling climate change, environment, and poverty challenges. The winners will join a network of 223 communities from 78 countries that have received the Prize since its inception in 2002.

The ASL congratulates all 22 winners and particularly:

Associação Indígena Kisêdjê, Brazil, which has developed on their traditional lands an innovative entrepreneurial model that uses the native pequi tree to restore landscapes, foster food security, and develop products for the local and national markets.
The Conselho Indigena de Roraima, Brazil, which has secured rights to 1.7 million hectares of traditional land while promoting ecological and social resilience through the conservation of traditional crop varieties.
Comunidades Nativas Shipibo de Nuevo Saposoa y Patria Nueva de Mediación Callería, Peru. Using innovative satellite and mobile phone technology for community-led monitoring, securing rights to ancestral lands and completely eliminating illegal deforestation.
Administrators of the Comunal Reserve Amarakaeri (ECA-RCA), Peru. Guardians of the largest Communal Reserve in Peru, successfully protecting over 402,335 hectares of forest while providing alternative livelihoods to local communities.
Administrators of the Comunal Reserve Tuntanain, Peru. Together with the government, co-managers of 94,967 hectares of forest, protecting headwaters of three rivers essential for regional water security, reduced food insecurity, and fostered climate resilience and increasing local income 160 percent.
Kemito Ene, Peru, with a business enterprise that has enabled 300 Asháninka families to break into the international market and directly export 90 tons of sustainably produced, organic cocoa annually while conserving their forests.
Recent articles & publications from our partners:
China and the Amazon—Toward a Framework for Maximizing Benefits and Mitigating Risks of Infrastructure Development
An in-depth review of the various factors likely to shape Chinese overseas investment in the Amazon region, the anticipated effects of this infrastructure development, and practical recommendations to ensure best outcomes. This report was developed by the Field Museum, Inter-American Dialogue, Boston University Global Development Policy (GDP) Center, China-Latin America Sustainable Investments Initiative (CLASII), and the Paulson Institute, and was financed by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation.

Read the report HERE
Community Strengthening In Protected Areas
ARPA is the long-term initiative (2002-2039) of the Brazilian government that has managed to protect more than 60 million hectares that make up a network of protected areas in the Amazon. This great effort to expand the area under protection and strengthen the management of existing protected areas, which is now supported by the Brazilian ASL project, has become a great example for other regions and countries with similar objectives. The publication from Brazil’s Environment Ministry has great importance, collecting the experiences, practices, and results of community work supported from 2014 to 2016 with traditional communities and indigenous peoples. 

Lessons presented in this publication will be implemented in the ASL project and are expected to serve as an inspiration for other projects.

Read the publication HERE (in Portuguese)
Looted Amazon
This  special report published by  Infoamazonia and the  Amazonian Network of Georeferenced Socio-Environmental Information (RAISG)  reveals results from a survey that identified 2,312 sites with illegal mining activity and 245 unauthorized gold, diamonds, and coltan extraction areas. This information has been placed on an interactive map where it is possible to explore each of the places that have been identified thanks to the analysis of satellite images, published news reports, and reports from local indigenous and from organizations that monitor forests.

Explore the results HERE
Healthy Rivers, Healthy People — Addressing the Mercury Crisis In the Amazon
In this report, WWF calls on governments, gold traders, consumers, and miners to take immediate action against the uncontrolled use of mercury in the Amazon. They say failure to do so will result in the permanent poisoning and destruction of one of the most important environmental resources available to our planet.

Read the report HERE (in Spanish)
Mercury in communities of the Colombian Amazon
This report that analyzes levels of mercury in communities of the Colombian Amazon is a product of the study from the Colombian National Natural Parks-Amazon Territorial Division, with financial support from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation.

This illustrated, and easy-to-understand publication is publicly available.

Explore it HERE (in Spanish)
ABS is Genetic Resources for Sustainable Development
Based on 27 case studies, this UNDP-GEF publication illustrates the impact of the Nagoya Protocol on Access and Benefit Sharing and related national policies in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. 

See the publication HERE
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