Letter to Nemonte Nenquimo

Dear Nemonte,

Your letter has profoundly moved us.  

We fully support your call to end, today, the destructive and unsustainable development of the Amazon that is devastating the largest rainforest in the world, home to 35 million people, among them, more than one million Amazonian Indigenous Peoples, who like you, have sustainably managed the standing forest and associated ecosystems for over 12,000 years.

You are not alone in this urgent call. We, the Science Panel for the Amazon, a group of 180 scientists and researchers, from the eight Amazonian countries, French Guiana, and global partners, join your  request to the leaders of the Amazonian countries, heads of State, and citizens of the world to commit to conserving the Amazon from the compounding effects of extractive industries, ever-expanding agriculture, illegal mining, deforestation, forest and riverine degradation, fires, and climate change, now further exacerbated by COVID-19.

In a statement addressed to the Heads of States, UN Agencies, and citizens of the world, on occasion of the UN Biodiversity summit held on September 30, 2020, we called for the ecological restoration, fair use of degraded areas, and sustainable management of resources for a transition to a vibrant rights-based, standing forest, flowing and healthy rivers bioeconomy, and emphasized that special attention should be given to youth and children’s needs.

We also strongly recommended a post-COVID-19 economic recovery for the Amazon with an emphasis on green jobs driven by investment in sustainable low-carbon green infrastructure, including health, education, and access to clean water, sanitation and broadband, and based on the recognition of the rights of Indigenous Peoples and local communities, who are the stewards of the Amazon.

We recognize and appreciate the value of traditional knowledge of Indigenous Peoples and the great diversity of local and regional knowledge, and aspire to integrate it with the Panel’s scientific research on conservation and restoration, to co-generate sustainable solutions and recommendations, which respect and accept the different worldviews to advance sustainable development pathways for the Amazon. We are especially honored to count with several scientists from Indigenous Communities among our members.

We are undertaking a full-fledged scientific assessment of the State of the Amazon – the first of its kind – and will propose practical and policy relevant solutions, recommendations, and pathways for the conservation and sustainable development of the Amazon. Our Panel will engage with policy makers locally, regionally and globally, and with the diverse set of stakeholders of the region to mobilize support for the conservation and the implementation of sustainable development pathways in the Amazon.

We agree with you: urgent local, national, and global action are needed, and, like you, we appeal to governments, businesses, financial institutions, civil society, academia, scientists, the media, faith-based communities, and people of good will everywhere to join us in a common effort to respect the Amazon and its people, and invest in its long-term sustainable development.

You are not alone.

Science Panel for the Amazon