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Belem Declaration

The ongoing Amazon Summit has garnered attention due to the inability of leaders from eight countries to reach a consensus on a crucial goal to protect the rainforest. The elusive agreement, captured by the Belem Declaration, reflects both challenges and opportunities in safeguarding the Amazon’s ecological integrity.

This topic of “Belem Declaration” is important from the perspective of the UPSC IAS Examination, which falls under General Studies Portion.

Navigating the Amazon Summit: The Belem Declaration

The Belem Declaration, a product of the Amazon Summit, encapsulates the aspirations and complexities of protecting the Amazon rainforest, a vital global ecosystem.

Colombia’s Unsuccessful Proposal

A central highlight of the Belem Declaration was Colombia’s ambitious proposal to achieve 80% protection against deforestation and degradation by 2025. However, this proposal lacked unanimous support among member countries, hampering its realization.

Unmet Goals and Focused Dialogues

The Belem Declaration fell short in setting explicit goals for forest protection, including the crucial threshold of 80% to avert a tipping point. The leaders’ collective vision also failed to materialize into a commitment towards zero deforestation.

Emphasis on Sustainability and Indigenous Participation

Despite the absence of firm commitments, the Belem Declaration recognized the value of Indigenous knowledge in biodiversity conservation. The importance of involving Indigenous Peoples in decision-making and public policy formulation was acknowledged.

Solutions for the Forest Economy

The declaration underscored the necessity of diverse forest economy solutions, aimed at mitigating the dominance of agricultural commodities. It endorsed sustainable utilization of Amazon’s biodiversity, promoting a balanced and ecologically responsible approach.

The Significance and Consequences

The Alarming Science

Scientists have consistently warned against allowing deforestation and degradation to surpass the 20-25% threshold. Crossing this tipping point could lead to irreversible ecosystem damage, resulting in the decline and potential collapse of the Amazon rainforest.

Implications of Unresolved Consensus

The inability to achieve consensus within the Belem Declaration has broader implications. It casts uncertainties on the realization of overarching goals and targets, including the Convention on Biological Diversity’s Global Biodiversity Framework, which aimed to protect 30% of land and sea by 2030 and was agreed upon in December 2022.

The Who, Where, and Organizational Aim

Convening Leaders

The Belem Declaration emerged from leaders representing eight countries: Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Peru, Suriname, and Venezuela. These nations converged at the Amazon Summit, an event organized by the Amazon Cooperation Treaty Organization (ACTO).

Amazon Cooperation Treaty Organization’s Vision

The Amazon Summit, hosted by the Amazon Cooperation Treaty Organization (ACTO), held the core objective of advancing sustainable development in the Amazon Basin. The Belem Declaration’s discourse aligns with ACTO’s aim of fostering the ecological and socio-economic wellbeing of the region.

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