Amazon Summit of ACTO Countries

Context: Amazon Summit under the aegis of the Amazon Cooperation Treaty Organisation (ACTO) came to an in the  Belem City of  Brazil. The Summit produced an outcome document known as Belem Declaration. This is only the fourth summit-level meeting under ACTO. 

Amazon Cooperation Treaty Organisation (ACTO)

  • Amazon Cooperation Treaty Organisation (ACTO) is an intergovernmental organisation formed by 8 Amazonian countries: Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Peru, Suriname and Venezuela (8 countries). 
  • The above Eight nations decided to create ACTO to strengthen and implement under the Amazon Cooperation Treaty in 1995 to strengthen and implement the Amazon Cooperation Treaty objectives. 
  • Permanent Secretariat of ACTO was established in Brasilia in 2002 and permanently installed in 2003. Permanent Secretariat of ACTO is to facilitate the exchange, knowledge, cooperation and joint projection among ACTO Member Countries to fulfil the mandate of Amazon Cooperation Treaty. 
  • Amazon Cooperation Treaty was signed in 1978 to promote the harmonious development of Amazonian territories in a way that joint actions of Amazonian countries produce equitable and mutually beneficial results in achieving the sustainable development of Amazon region.

Objectives of Amazon Cooperation Treaty Organisation

  • Facilitate exchange and cooperation among Member countries, promoting strategic sustainable development and livelihoods with emphasis on vulnerable populations, indigenous people and other tribal communities.
  • Ensure that the interests and sovereignty of Member Countries are respected and promoted.
  • Facilitate actions to preserve, protect, conserve and sustainably use forests, biodiversity and water resources of the Amazon.
  • Promote the management of Amazonian resources in harmony with nature and the environment.
  • Promote and disseminate the culture of Amazon and foster respect and protection of ancestral and current wisdom.
  • Promote coordination of plans for Member Countries for the development of Amazonian populations.

About Amazon River and its Basin

  • Amazon region makes up more than half of the world’s tropical rainforest and is the world’s largest tropical forest. The region stretches over an area twice the size of India. Two-thirds of it lies in Brazil and the remaining is shared by other 7 countries and one territory (French Suriname). The region also has a significant presence of savanna-like biogeography.
  • Amazon River: Largest & longest river on Earth. It originates at 5597 metres in the Peruvian Andes on the slopes of the Quehuisha volcano. 
  • Important tributaries of Amazon: Putumayo, Japurá and Negro River (north slope), Juruá, Purús, Madeira, Tapajós and Xingú.
  • Rich in biodiversity: Amazon’s tropical forest biome accounts for 50% of Earth’s existing biodiversity and is the most extensive and biodiversity-rich jungle on the planet. 
  • Climatic significance of Amazon: Amazon has a great influence on heat & water vapour transportation to higher latitude regions.
    • Regulates regional climate 
    • Regulates carbon absorption contributing to mitigating climate change.
    • Regulates evapotranspiration process
  • Cultural significance: Amazon basin is home to about 40 million inhabitants and is home to 400 indigenous peoples who speak more than 300 languages. 

Challenges to Amazon Ecosystem

  • Deforestation and land use changes in Amazon Region.
  • Oil exploration in Amazon region and other mineral exploration.
  • Countries of the Amazon region aim for economic development.
  • Scientists believe when 20-25% of Amazon’s rainforest is destroyed, rainfall will dramatically decline
  • Exploitation of rights of indigenous people in the Amazonian region.
  • Expansion of agricultural cultivation in Amazon region.
  • Organised crime and drug trafficking in Amazon region

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