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Science Panel
for the Amazon

Science
for a
Sustainable Amazon

The Amazon is the largest tropical forest in the world. More than 10% of the known plant and animal species coexist there. On just two forested acres there is a greater variety of trees than in all of North America. Just one of these trees can host as many ant species as there are in the entire United Kingdom.

In the Amazon basin there are over 2,300 species of fish, more than can be found in the entire Atlantic Ocean. Close to one-sixth of the planet's freshwater flows through its rivers and streams. The Amazon forest is also a buffer against climate change; it regulates climate variability and stores around 130 billion metric tons of carbon, almost a decade of global emissions of carbon dioxide.

Today, this ecosystem of over 7 million square kilometers is threatened by deforestation, fires, mining, oil and gas development, large dams for hydroelectric generation, and illegal invasions. A forested area the size of Luxemburg was lost in the month of July 2019 alone.

We, scientists of the Amazon and those who study the Amazon, have come together under the auspices of the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) to contribute our knowledge and experience to a scientific assessment of the state of the diverse ecosystems, land uses, and climatic changes of the Amazon and their implications for the region.

The report of the Science Panel for the Amazon - due for the first half of 2021 - will be the first scientific report carried out for the entire Amazon basin and its biome. The report will call upon governments, companies, civil society, and all inhabitants of the planet to implement the report’s recommendations and act together for the conservation and development of a sustainable Amazon.

What happens in the world affects the Amazon, and what happens in the Amazon affects the world. The well-being of those who inhabit the planet today and of the generations to come depends on its conservation. We appeal to the conscience of humanity to save it. We still have time to act.

AMAZON
BASIN

10     
keys
    to save
the amazon  

La soberanía
de la Amazonía
es intocable.
La soberanía
de la Amazonía
es intocable.
La soberanía
de la Amazonía
es intocable.


Gallery:
A view
from within

La soberanía
de la Amazonía
es intocable.
La soberanía
de la Amazonía
es intocable.
La soberanía
de la Amazonía
es intocable.
La soberanía
de la Amazonía
es intocable.

Gallery:
Embracing
a Territory

La soberanía
de la Amazonía
es intocable.

Gallery:
The Diverse
Amazon

La soberanía
de la Amazonía
es intocable.
La soberanía
de la Amazonía
es intocable.
An Immensity threatened

Formed over 30 million years ago, the Amazon has been inhabited by indigenous peoples for more than 11,000 years. Its limits cover almost 7.5 million km2 - about 12 times the size of the state of Texas and 28 times the size of Italy - and extend across the territories of eight countries: Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Peru, Suriname, Venezuela, and a national territory, French Guiana.

Around 5.5 million km2 of its territory is covered by forests. 35 million people live in the region, including indigenous and traditional populations who speak 330 different languages.

Deforestation and forest degradation are not just an environmental problem. Statistical evidence shows that homicides increase with deforestation, due to the violent process of land grabbing and displacement of traditional communities. Deforestation also intensifies the spread of diseases.

In western Amazonian countries, international drug trafficking mafias, illegal logging, and illegal mining cause great suffering and contribute to human trafficking, forced labor, and murder.

EXIT
MAP

Information of www.mapbiomas.org

10      
Actions   
    to conserve
the amazon  

La soberanía
de la Amazonía
es intocable.
La soberanía
de la Amazonía
es intocable.
La soberanía
de la Amazonía
es intocable.
La soberanía
de la Amazonía
es intocable.




Gallery:
The tropical
forest under fire


La soberanía
de la Amazonía
es intocable.
La soberanía
de la Amazonía
es intocable.
La soberanía
de la Amazonía
es intocable.

Gallery:
An
unsustainable
intervention

La soberanía
de la Amazonía
es intocable.
La soberanía
de la Amazonía
es intocable.
La soberanía
de la Amazonía
es intocable.


Gallery:
An indigenous
communication
network


INFO

1. Promote management based on scientific evidence

Ensuring the sustainability of the Amazon requires scientifically based decisions that consider the traditional knowledge of indigenous peoples and traditional communities. It is imperative to develop an agenda for science, technology, innovation, and investment that promotes a knowledge economy based on nature, standing forests and flowing rivers, and that considers new opportunities for companies in sustainable agroforestry systems, native species forestry, regenerative agriculture, fishing, sustainable mining, and ecotourism.

INFO

2. Stop and control the spread of forest fires

Avoiding forest degradation requires controlling forest fires, using evidence-based interventions and near-real-time monitoring techniques. It is a priority to prevent and combat illegal logging and restore areas that have lost most of their forests to ensure connectivity of biodiversity, reduce the impacts of climate change, and reduce the risk of reaching a tipping point of no return and the savannization of large forest areas.

INFO

3. End deforestation and land use changes

These measures must cover logging, mining, agriculture, and livestock under existing national codes. Subsidies and other indirect incentives for predatory activities should be eliminated and access to public credit and international cooperation for the development of illegal deforesters and companies that directly benefit from or purchase products from illegally deforested areas in the Amazon should be restricted.

INFO

4. Finance law enforcement agencies

Full funding of national monitoring, enforcement, and follow-up agencies is essential, with international financial support as needed and requested. There is also a need to increase support for the implementation of existing legislation on land use, land tenure, and human rights. There can be no sustainability without compliance with the law.

INFO

5. Review the environmental impact of infrastructure projects

It is essential to assess potential environmental impact of large scale projects before their development. According to the Amazon Georeferenced Socio-Environmental Information Network (RAISG), 68% of indigenous lands and protected natural areas in the region are under pressure from roads, mining, dams, oil extraction, forest fires, and deforestation.

INFO

6. Strengthen forest codes and standards

There is an urgent need to upgrade forest codes and laws in all eight Amazon countries and French Guiana, based on scientific recommendations, the constitutional protection of human rights, and environmental sustainability, in accordance with national and international regulations.

INFO

7. Large Scale International financing

The reactivation and expansion of Amazon Fund requires at least $1 billion per year to co-finance scientific research and innovation, forest conservation, restoration of degraded lands, carbon storage services, freshwater restoration, community monitoring, sustainable management of the rainforest and its biodiversity, and strengthening educational capacities in the region for Amazonian science.

INFO

8. Protect indigenous peoples and communities

It is vital to protect indigenous peoples and communities against illegal, unauthorized, or undocumented land grabbing, logging, mining, agriculture, and ranching, and from all acts of violence and hate crimes against indigenous peoples and traditional communities, as well as the speedy and precise completion of all pending demarcations of indigenous lands.

INFO

9. Certify supply chains

Supply chains for soy, coffee, meat, timber, non-timber forest products, and minerals originating from the Amazon must be certified in compliance with national and international sustainability agreements, and with publicly available data on the companies participating in the global supply (i.e. in non-Amazon countries).

INFO

10. Expand scientific monitoring

Protecting and expanding real-time scientific monitoring of Amazon forest conditions (including satellite data, remote sensing, and ground observations) is essential to enable implementation of an early-warning system to track risks to the forests and rivers.

Magnificent wealth in extinction

In the first eight months of 2019, there were more than 45,000 fires in the Brazilian Amazon. The entire world watched in alarm as the rainforest burned.

Each year, deforestation further intensifies its devastating course. In 2019, more than 1.7 million hectares of Amazonian primary forest were lost in Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru, according to figures from MAAP, which monitors a large area of the Amazon. And during the first six months of 2020, deforestation in Brazil increased by 26% compared to 2019, according to data from the Brazilian National Institute for Space Research (INPE).

The Amazon is home to at least 10% of the known species on earth and an incalculable number of microorganisms. As humans invade it, the natural reservoirs of viruses and pathogens are destroyed, and the forest could become a potential source of future pandemics.

The Amazon as a whole is very close to reaching a tipping point of no return and collapse. Some of the areas devastated by fire and deforestation will take decades to recover. Others may even take centuries. If we do not act quickly, almost half of the tree species could disappear in 30 years. We still have time to act!

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