We, the indigenous peoples of the Amazon Basin, through our ancestral knowledge and wisdom, have been protecting the Amazon for millennia. We have been joined in this struggle by environmental and human rights organisations and the scientific community have joined us in this struggle.
Today, together, we call for a global agreement for the permanent protection of 80 percent of the Amazon by 2025 as an urgent measure to stop the point of no return and respond to the planetary crisis with transformative change. It is time for the international community (governments, civil society, corporations, etc.) to join our effort to protect the planet.
The Amazon is the largest and most bioculturally diverse rainforest in the world. It is
home to 511 indigenous peoples, including 66 groups living in voluntary isolation and initial contact.
There are more than 300 languages spoken in this vast region covering 9 countries.
(Brazil, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Venezuela, Guyana, Suriname and French Guiana).
The Basin is home to one-third of the Earth’s plant and animal species and 20 percent of the world’s freshwater. It functions as the biological heart of our planet, sequestering and storing large amounts of carbon, regulating continental and global climate. Produces oxygen and rainfall, drives climate systems, among other benefits indigenous Territories (IT) – which physically occupy 237 million hectares in the Amazon basin – Indigenous and National Protected Areas (NPAs) are vital to protect the Amazon.
Together they cover about 50% of this region. Nearly half (45%) of the intact forest in the Amazon is located in indigenous territories, an area larger than France, Great Britain, Germany, Italy, Norway and Spain combined (FAO -FILAC 2021, p.12-13).
The Amazon has already lost 17 percent of its forest cover and 7 percent of its rainforests have been degraded (FAO -FILAC 2021, p.12-13). If deforestation and degradation combined cross the 20 per cent threshold, scientists warn that the system will reach an irreversible tipping point that could result in the retrogressive death of the entire ecosystem.
This would release massive emissions of carbon dioxide and have rapid and catastrophic consequences for the entire ecosystem and for global climate stability.
We are on the verge of a tipping point or point of no return. Our actions in the coming years will determine the fate of our planet for millennia to come. Ensuring the
integrity of hydrological systems, biodiversity and guaranteeing the fundamental role of the Amazon as a global climate regulator, will require that at least 80 percent of its forests remain intact.
This is a call to establish a global agreement for the permanent protection of the
80 percent of the Amazon rainforest by 2025, agreed by all Amazonian governments and endorsed by the peoples the indigenous peoples and the global community.
The Pact for the Amazon requires:
- A pan-Amazonian regional vision that lands in a common strategic plan built on the strict guidelines of the Amazon Consensus.
- On the strict guidelines of Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC). For
achieve 80% protection by 2025, each Amazonian country must develop National Amazon Biome Action Plans (NAPs).
National Action Plans for the Amazon Biome (PANBA) to detail their commitments and meet the 80 x 25 target.
- The process must involve the full participation of civil society, including indigenous civil society, including indigenous peoples who have been effective stewards of this biome for millennia.
- 100% of legally recognised and demarcated indigenous lands and the allocation of permanent financial resources to enable their titling and expansion.
- The implementation of a governance model with political representation and recognition of the role of indigenous peoples in the in achieving this goal at national and international levels.
- An immediate moratorium on deforestation and industrial degradation of all primary forests.
- The definition of a forest and zoning policy that allows for the creation of no-go zones for areas that remain intact – no roads and other zones exclusive to industrial activities.
- Restoration of degraded lands.
- Creation of indigenous reserves or co-managed, expanded protected areas for indigenous and local communities1 that are not currently listed as ITs or NPAs and other territories (OECM) with safeguards and state responsibility to ensure the protection of Indigenous Peoples in Voluntary Isolation and Initial Contact (IPIVIC).
- Halt key drivers of current and future deforestation and industrial development pressures by suspending new licenses and funding for mining, oil, cattle ranching, large dams, logging and other industrial activities.
- Debt Forgiveness conditional on a permanent moratorium on industrial extraction in indigenous territories and protected areas.
- Commitment by the financial sector to ensure compliance with indigenous peoples’ rights and to end deforestation in all the supply chains they finance.
- Transparency and accountability of the financial sector and value chains.
- The international community must adopt immediate policies and frameworks to ensure the continued flow of resources to achieve this goal.
- The international community should mobilise the financial resources necessary to cover the costs of access to basic services for indigenous communities, consolidate their self-determination, and strengthen the integrated management of territories, sustainable livelihoods and the use of ancestral knowledge.
We urge the countries of the Amazon basin to declare a state of emergency and immediately stop the expansion of industrial activities in the Amazon basin.
immediately halt the expansion of destructive industrial activities, government policies and harmful public subsidies that allow further destruction of forests.
The state of emergency would address the drivers of deforestation and, at the same time, leave space for the design and implementation of strategies aimed at lasting transformational change.
Industrialised nations need to recognise their role in climate change and the critical role of the Amazon in climate change mitigation and channel all the resources necessary to ensure a just transition for those of us who inhabit the biome and for their own citizens.
The time for action is now.
The indigenous peoples of the nine Amazonian countries invite governments, scientists, cities, financial institutions and all sectors of the global community who are willing to act for the planet, to take action for the planet to join and support this initiative. The signing of this declaration is a first step to avoid the Amazon’s point of no return and protect 80% by 2025.
The Coordinadora de Organizaciones Indígenas de la Cuenca Amazónica – COICA and its member organisations in the 9 countries in the name of our indigenous nations and peoples of the Amazon:
AIDESEP, Asociación Interétnica de Desarrollo de la Selva Peruana.
APA, Association of Amerindian Peoples of Guyana.
CIDOB Orgánica, Confederación de Pueblos Indígenas del Oriente Boliviano (Confederation of Indigenous Peoples of Eastern Bolivia).
COIAB, Coordinadora de las Organizaciones Indígenas de la Amazonía Brasileña.
CONFENIAE, Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of the Ecuadorian Amazon.
OPIAC, National Organisation of Indigenous Peoples of the Colombian Amazon.
ORPIA, Regional Organisation of Indigenous Peoples of the Amazon (Venezuela).
OIS, Indigenous Organisations of Suriname.
FOAG, Federation of Indigenous Organisations of French Guiana.
In solidarity with the indigenous nations and peoples of the Amazon, the Executive Committee of the Amazon for Life Initiative: protecting 80% by 2025: Stand.earth, Amazon Watch, AVAAZ, Wild Heritage, RAISG, One Earth, Artists for the Amazon, and Noo World. COICA, Coordinadora de las Organizaciones Indígenas de la Cuenca Amazónica (Coordinating Body of Indigenous Organisations of the Amazon Basin)
Please sign the statement: