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Andean Parliament Declares State of Emergency in the Amazon

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On May 16, 2024, the Andean Parliament held a historic General Assembly session during which the Andean Parliament Amazon Report was presented, developed by the High-Level Working Group for the Amazon of the Andean Parliament with scientific inputs and contribution  from the Science Panel for the Amazon (SPA). The presentation of the report was led by Mr. Carlo Angeles, Co-Chair of the Working Group, and Dr. Marielos Peña-Claros, Co-Chair of the SPA.

Presentation of the Andean Parliament Amazon Report

The Andean Parliament Amazon Report spotlights the critical situation of the Amazon Basin, highlighting its vital importance for global biodiversity and climate regulation. This report details that the Amazon hosts more than 10% of the world’s known biodiversity and is one of the largest carbon sinks on the planet, and accounts for over 16% of the freshwater that flows into the oceans. It emphasizes the crucial interconnection between the Andes and the Amazon, where the Amazon’s atmospheric moisture supports the Andean water systems, crucial for the survival of numerous ecosystems and human settlements.

However, deforestation and degradation of the Amazon are advancing at an alarming rate. Currently, more than 17% of the region has been deforested and another 17% is degraded. If deforestation exceeds 25%, the Amazon could transform into a savannah-like ecosystem, which would have catastrophic global consequences.

Declaration of Amazon State of Emergency

Based on the recommendations of the report, the Andean Parliament issued a National and International State of Emergency Declaration for the Amazon Basin. This declaration urges the states, governments, and citizens of the Parliament member countries to unite and ensure the conservation of the Amazon through maintaining its standing forests, the sustainable use of its resources, and the protection of critical ecosystems. The Declaration extends this call to action to the international community, including regional and international organizations and parliaments, urging developed countries to financially and technically support the conservation of the Amazon, recognizing their global environmental responsibility.

The Declaration considers key environmental legislation, such as normative frameworks on the rights of nature, water security, combating illegal logging, and protected areas. This Declaration emphasizes the crucial importance of the Amazon for climate regulation and global biodiversity, seeking coordinated and urgent actions for its conservation across various scales.

Call to Action

The Andean Parliament’s Emergency Declaration will be presented at COP16 in Cali, Colombia, aiming to foster strategic alliances between the Amazon Cooperation Treaty Organization (ACTO) and the Amazon Parliament for urgent action. This marks a pivotal moment for  conservation of the Amazon, emphasizing the need for immediate, coordinated regional and global efforts. The international community must address this emergency without delay.

The Andean Parliament’s Amazon Report and the subsequent Declaration underscore SPA’s evidence-based and scientific contributions to policy-making. Every day, the Amazon grows closer to a tipping point. We must act now!

Read the full Declaration here (Spanish):

Access the Andean Parliament Amazon Report here (English): https://www.theamazonwewant.org/spa_publication/andean-parliament-amazon-report/