PANAMA CITY, Panama – The president of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), Ilan Goldfajn, met March 17, 2023, with representatives from Amazon and donor countries to discuss the urgent call for coordinated action to protect the ecosystems of the Amazon basin.
The meeting took place during the annual meeting of the IDB and IDB Invest boards of governors, in Panama. Amazon countries reaffirmed their strong commitment to curb deforestation and identify sustainable methods to protect the forest, providing real economic opportunities for local communities.
Representatives from Amazon countries and IDB non-regional member countries discussed the present challenges the Amazon region faces and the unique capacity of the IDB Group to respond to them in a timely and coordinated manner.
President Goldfajn shared his vision for “increased ambition for the Amazon region” and the IDB’s goal of coordinating an Amazon regional program that provides an umbrella set-up for existing (including IDB’s Amazon Initiative) and future efforts by a broader coalition of countries and organizations committed to its sustainable, resilient, and inclusive development.
“The unflagging commitment of Amazon countries present here today, along with the generous donors and other stakeholders give us the momentum we need to respond to this challenge together,” said Goldfajn.
The president made a commitment for the IDB Group to contribute to:
- Promoting regional integrationto improve coordination and coherence. The Amazon biome is spread across 8 countries, and its conservation impacts the entire world, so only collective action can make a difference.
- Supporting countries and sub-national entities in the Amazon territory, particularly for impactful investments and informed policies to close the connectivity gap, promote businesses, and ensure inclusion.
- To lead a close dialogue with indigenous people, local communities, and afro-descendants.
President Goldfajn highlighted the renewed momentum for coordinated work on the Amazon. “It is time to increase ambition, up to the level that Amazon requires. Our goal is to set an Amazon regional program, an umbrella set-up for ambitious, cross-sector interventions that have a long-lasting impact in the Amazon region.”
During the meeting, the donors reinforced their support for the Amazon regional program and coordinated efforts, including the existing Amazon Initiative. The UK reaffirmed its intention to join the IDB’s Amazon Multi-Donor Trust Fund, an important source of the Amazon Initiative’s funding.
Tackling the challenges in the Amazon region also requires a truly regional effort. To that end, Amazon countries have announced their intention to host the Amazon Summit this year. The gathering represents an opportunity to reaffirm collective action, increase ambition, set priorities, and provide strategic guidelines at the highest level.
During the dialogue, leaders shared their vision and perspectives.
“Sustainable development and the defense of the Amazon are fundamental for our government. We want Brazil’s economy to be green. We will work in favor of protecting forests, the bioeconomy, socio-biodiversity, and the energy transition and in favor of sustainable agriculture and sustainable mining, respecting the environment and human rights. We look forward to collaborating with all neighboring countries and acting as a regional integrator for the Amazon, and we rely on the IDB for that.
“The IDB is a great supporter of sustainable development policies via the “Amazon Initiative”, and through partnerships with other important organizations, such as the Amazon Cooperation Treaty Organization (ACTO)”. ~ Simone Tebet, minister of planning and budget of Brazil, and Brazilian Governor to the IDB
“There is no economy without a planet; there is no economy without life. It’s not worth the economy if it’s not fostering life. In Colombia, we have created a fund and allocated 80% of the carbon tax and 600 billion pesos, equivalent to $150 million, annually, for the next 20 years to feed this fund and sustain the social agreements that we are going to do in the Amazon. We must manage to generate an economy that regenerates the jungle while generating population stability in that arc of Amazonian deforestation.” ~ Susana Muhamad, minister of environment and sustainable development of Colombia
“In the fight against climate change protecting the Amazon is essential. We must also preserve its unique biodiversity for future generations. In all our efforts we must include the local population and respect their cultures and economic interests. Germany, therefore, reaffirms its commitment to continue supporting the scaling-up of the Amazon Initiative of the IDB. We welcome president Ilan Goldfajn’s increased level of ambition and belief in the important strategic role that the IDB as a regional bank can play in providing technical and financial support and facilitating coordination.” ~ Niels Annen, parliamentary state secretary to the German Federal Ministry for economic cooperation and development, and Governor to the IDB.
“The Amazon Initiative is unique as it addresses development challenges, climate change, and biodiversity in the Amazon region. “The initiative demonstrates that support for global challenges goes hand in hand with sustainable development, without compromising the focus on poverty reduction and inequality.” ~ Dominique Paravicini, Swiss Governor to the IDB
“The Netherlands welcomes the ambition of the Amazon countries to develop the Amazon region in a sustainable and inclusive way, while conserving its valuable rainforest, in the interest of the local and global climate, biodiversity, and the livelihoods of local communities. By contributing to the multi-donor fund of the Amazon Initiative, we aim to support and speed up the sustainable transition in the region.” ~ Government of the Netherlands
“There is political momentum and a critical moment for enhanced regional cooperation on the Amazon. This is an opportunity that must not be lost.” ~ Karin Metell Cueva, head of regional development cooperation in Latin America, Sweden.
About the IDB’s Amazon Initiative
The Amazon Initiative mobilizes public and private resources and coordinates IDB’s financial and technical assistance to stimulate sustainable and inclusive development models and accelerate the accomplishment of the Sustainable Development Goals in the Amazonian communities and territories.
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