Countries sharing the Northwest Amazon region – Brazil, Colombia and Venezuela – have ratified international agreements on the environment and climate change, including the Convention on Biological Diversity and the Kyoto Protocol. Nevertheless, effective environmental governance is a shared responsibility – the State, private sector, international funders, civil society and indigenous communities all have important roles to play.
Through our work in enabling local indigenous governance, Gaia Amazonas facilitates solutions to come from the ground up. Indigenous research and community mapping have paved the way for inter-cultural health and education programs, and provide key data for environmental zoning and monitoring climate change. In parallel, our GIS services provide up-to-date and accurate information on deforestation and emerging issues in the region.
Threats to the Northwest Amazon demand new and innovative forms of environmental governance.Gaia Amazonas fosters strategic alliances between local indigenous authorities (AATIs), environmental entities and other stakeholders. Partnerships between indigenous territories and the National Natural Parks authority have led to innovative and shared management responsibilities for protected areas in the Colombian Amazon, and the designation of new national parks. We have developed bold, new criteria for the zoning of forest reserves. Another tactic has been to request the safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage, from the Ministry of Culture and UNESCO.