By Mario Lubetkin, Deputy Director General and Regional Representative for Latin America and the Caribbean
Over the past few years, the scientific world has recognized that the Amazon faces unprecedented survival challenges and may soon reach a tipping point where recovery may be impossible.
Reaching these extremes could generate devastating socioeconomic, cultural, and environmental impacts, both in the Amazon and regionally and globally, with catastrophic consequences for agriculture and urban water supply and significant threats to ecosystem protection.
This topic has undoubtedly been part of the extensive debate at COP 27 in Egypt.
Preserving the Amazon from threats such as deforestation and biodiversity loss is a matter of global concern and must become one of the significant priorities of our time. Our actions today are our future.
In this context, the United Nations representation in Brazil and the Amazonia Legal Interstate Consortium launched the Amazonia Legal Hub, a programmatic-financial mechanism whose central objective is to promote the sustainable development of the Brazilian Amazon through the mobilization of resources. This will materialize through the trust fund “United Nations Multi-Donor Fund for the Sustainable Development of the Legal Amazon (Amazon MPTF).”
In line with its strong commitment to supporting countries in climate change mitigation and adaptation, The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) are leading this initiative through the co-management of the Inter-Agency Thematic Group on Sustainable Development of the Legal Amazon, composed of 17 UN specialized agencies, funds and programs in Brazil.
The challenge we face with this new fund is ensuring that partnerships and support for the Amazon are not only limited to ecosystem management but also aim to create inclusive economic alternatives focused on benefiting the local population.
We cannot forget that the Brazilian Legal Amazon region, which includes nine states, is home to 29 million people and has one of the worst poverty and human development indices and the highest food insecurity. It is unacceptable that its population experiences such poverty despite living in an area with the greatest natural wealth in the world.
The signing of this agreement will translate into concrete action for improvements in the Amazon through the prioritization of proposals to improve environmental governance, reduce illegal activities, empower the region’s population and support human settlements and sustainable cities, in addition to improving the management of socio-environmental issues, and the impacts of climate change on agriculture.