STORY 1ACHIEVEMENTS

Our Partners in Action


ARA Organizations

BOLIVIA

BRAZIL

COLOMBIA

ECUADOR
Corporación Grupo Randi Randi

PERU

 

 
A Unique Opportunity for Amazonia


The Gaia Foundation of Colombia, member of the Articulación Regional Amazónica, seeks to place territorial administration and conservation back in the hands of Amazonian indigenous populations.

Approximately 20% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions are the result of deforestation and other land-use changes. Among sources of emissions in Latin America, deforestation is the most significant by a large margin, and is concentrated in the Amazon region. Forest destruction is moving Amazonia close to a tipping point that, according to scientists, could result in ecosystem collapse, catastrophically reducing the forest’s capacity to capture atmospheric carbon and altering weather patterns throughout the continent. At current rates of deforestation, it is possible that within 15-20 years we will cross that threshold.

AVINA has joined forces with its partners in Amazonian countries in an attempt to halt the factors that are contributing to Amazonian deforestation. Starting in Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru, AVINA and its allies have launched a coordination platform within the Amazonian basin known as the Amazonian Regional Articulation (ARA), whose members share a common long-term vision and priorities based on necessities identified in the region. The 24 organizations that comprise ARA seek to create synergies through their actions and build alliances with governments, private enterprise, and other institutions committed to the future of this unique ecosystem.

The resulting strategy prioritizes three lines of action, the first of which focuses on forest transparency. This involves monitoring and warning the public regarding the perils of deforestation, forest degradation, forest fires and illegal activities in Amazonia. As an example, the members of the Geo-referenced Amazonian Network of Socioenvironmental Information (RAISG) operate in six of the nine countries within the Amazon basin. The network encourages the exchange of technologies, data and know-how. It recently produced the first Amazonian map of protected areas, integrating data from all nine countries of the watershed.

The second line of action in the Amazon strategy promotes a new Amazonian economy based on biodiversity, environmental services and non-timber based economic activities. It is almost unanimously accepted that ensuring the biome’s integrity over the long term depends on recognizing the economic value of the standing forest, and pioneering initiatives are already emerging and paving the way toward this objective. For example, the Fundación Amigos de la Naturaleza in Bolivia is recognized for its successful implementation of innovative mechanisms for obtaining carbon credits for avoided deforestation, thus generating sustainable economic alternatives at the local level.

The third and final line of action within the strategy involves valuing the culture of the Amazon, and particularly the indigenous knowledge of the Amazonian peoples. The empowerment of indigenous populations and traditional river communities is fundamental to this process. In Colombia the Fundación Gaia Amazonas has demonstrated how to achieve both quality of life for Amazon communities and conservation goals. Gaia works with indigenous communities and organizations, promoting their rights and the preservation of Amazonian forests in Colombia, where more than 90% of the forest is protected and is situated almost completely within indigenous territories. 

 


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