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GEF CEO welcomes cooperation pact to protect the Amazon basin

September 11, 2019

Amazon river in Brazil
Over the past several weeks, the GEF has been working with national and subnational government agencies, its network of implementing agencies, and other entities in Brazil to support emergency fire response activities, through the first phase of Amazon Sustainable Landscapes Program. Photo: worldclassphoto/Shutterstock.

The Global Environment Facility CEO and Chairperson, Naoko Ishii, welcomes the commitment by heads of state from seven countries in the Amazon basin to work more closely together to value forests, protect biodiversity, and fight against deforestation and land degradation across the biome.

The Leticia Pact for the Amazon, signed on September 6 by Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Peru, and Suriname, includes a commitment to establish a disaster network to help countries cooperate in face of large-scale events such as the fires that have burned thousands of square miles of the Amazon rainforest in recent weeks.

The signatory countries agreed to launch new information-sharing mechanisms to help combat illegal activity that could undermine conservation of the Amazon, and committed to engage with and empower women as well as indigenous and tribal peoples in the region in support of sustainable development.

They also pledged to “promptly move forward in the formulation of the second phase of the Amazon Sustainable Landscapes Program under the Global Environment Facility,” recognizing the collaborative work that has been undertaken in the GEF program’s first phase by Brazil, Colombia, and Peru, which make up 83 percent of the Amazon biome.

“We strongly support coordinated action in support of a sustainable future for the Amazon Basin, and the Leticia Pact is an important step in this direction,” said Naoko Ishii, CEO and Chairperson of the Global Environment Facility. “We look forward to working together with the countries of the region and with our network of partners to mobilize public and private resources to enable the Leticia Pact’s full implementation, as we advance the second phase of the Amazon Sustainable Landscapes Program.”

Over the past several weeks, the GEF has been working with national and subnational government agencies, its network of implementing agencies, and other entities in Brazil to support emergency fire response activities, through the first phase of the Amazon Sustainable Landscapes Program.

Beyond support for emergency response, the first phase of the Amazon Sustainable Landscapes program, which has been under implementation for one year, has included grants to help countries strengthen biodiversity conservation, reduce deforestation, increase ecosystem connectivity, and improve community livelihoods across the region.

On a longer-term basis, the GEF will continue to support national and local partners to implement conservation and development initiatives in the region through the Amazon Sustainable Landscapes Program’s second phase, which was approved by the GEF’s Council in June 2019.

The one-day summit held in Colombia’s Amazonas province was attended by the presidents of Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru, the vice president of Suriname, the natural resource minister of Guyana, and the foreign minister of Brazil. Brazil’s president also joined by video link.

To learn more about the Amazon Sustainable Landscapes Impact Program, please click here