In the Media
Development and conservation in the Amazon: which way forward?
September 03, 2012
Conservation concerns have gained important ground in policy decision making in the Amazon region, but mainstream policy goals to stimulate food and energy supply still need to be more effectively harmonised with environmental policy, an expert from CIFOR, the Center for International Forestry Research, said ahead of the IUCN World Conservation Congress which begins on 6 September.
Pablo Pacheco urged decision makers in Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Peru, Suriname, French Guiana, and Venezuela — the nations that share the five million square kilometre forest — to more aggressively address issues causing tension between economic growth and forest conservation in the Amazon.
Issues dominating the development agenda in the Amazon include agricultural expansion (soybean crops and beef cattle), extraction of natural resources (timber, oil and gas and, most recently, minerals) and infrastructure development.
Each Amazonian country has its own set of environmental and development policy objectives that do not necessarily coincide with the interests of its neighbours. But there are important overlapping concerns, including the protection of forest in the face of climate change and finding ways to make sure forests can contribute to the livelihoods of communities that depend on them, as well as for the provision of services that benefit broader society.
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Keywords: agricultural expansion, Amazon, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, deforestation, Ecuador, forest loss, French Guiana, Guyana, Latin America, Peru, soy bean, Suriname, Venezuela