Political leadership for the Amazon

The world received sobering news from the Brazilian Government this week. Deforestation in the Amazon rose 29% this year to roughly 10,000 square kilometers, a little bit smaller than the state of Connecticut. This new estimate is the highest since 2008, although still only half of the annual average from 1996 to 2005.

There is no better time to shine a light on the political leadership and new partnerships under way in the Amazon that are essential for bringing deforestation back down while providing a foundation for the enduring prosperity of Amazonians. I’m delighted that Earth Innovation Institute is supporting these efforts—it is what we are designed to do.

Daniel Nepstad portrait


Daniel Nepstad

Executive Director & Senior Scientist

Political Leadership for Amazon Forest Conservation

As concern about the future of the Amazon has escalated this year, the governments of states, provinces and regions covering 64% of the Amazon forest have been quietly forging ahead with a new development model—one that slows the loss and speeds the recovery of forests, respects and supports indigenous peoples’ and local communities, and expands food production, all while lowering carbon emissions at a massive scale.

EII’s regional teams are working with subnational governments in 18 jurisdictions, representing 22% of the worlds tropical forests and 9 Gt CO2eq of emission reduction potential by 2030.

Amazon low-emission development strategies

States and regions that are members of the Governors’ Climate and Forests (GCF) Task Force are halfway through an historical strategy-building process, with support from the Norwegian Government and UNDP. Eight of the 18 Amazon jurisdictions now developing their “low-emission development” strategies have asked EII to be their coordinating partner.

Amazon ‘Tropical Forest Champions’

Ten regional governments have joined the “Tropical Forest Champions” initiative for implementing the GCF principles and definitions for fostering more and better partnerships with companies. When a state or regional government decides to tackle deforestation, their success will depend upon partnerships with companies and investors. As Champions, they will receive support to forge these partnerships.

Amazon Back to Fish Strategy

Sixteen Amazon states and regions are participating in an audacious Pan-Amazon strategy to move the region’s protein source “back to fish”. This strategy was advanced during the ExpoAmazonica meeting in Iquitos, Loreto (Peru) and in a meeting of the Brazilian Amazon states held in Porto Velho, Rondonia.

A regional strategy for the Cerrado: EII MATOPIBA project

Through partnerships with the State Governments of Tocantins and Maranhão and multi-sector dialogues in several municipios in each state, EII is supporting development of a regional strategy for rural development that alleviates poverty, builds food security and curtails the loss of the Cerrado woodland associated with soybean expansion.

New Collaboration with Brazilian States of Mato Grosso and Acre

With 15 and 19 year histories, respectively, of work in these Amazon states, EII is now finalizing new collaborations with the Administrations of Governor Mauro Mendes and Gladson Cameli.

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