Every person on earth depends on the Amazon. It is the most critical terrestrial natural buffer against global climate change we have left, absorbing up to 0.65 billion tonnes of carbon a year, and home to the richest biodiversity on earth. South America’s GDP relies on the rainfall from the Amazon, and it is also home to the hundreds of indigenous communities who have unique knowledge of their surrounding forests.
But the Amazon and its people are facing crisis. As deforestation rates edge towards 20%, it has become a net source of carbon rather than a net store, driving continued global heating. If forest fires and deforestation rates continue at the same pace, driven by inequality and poor economic productivity, scientists are predicting a forest collapse.
The Amazon Green Economy Hub, a multi-sectoral partnership led by FAS and the GEC proposes a new approach founded on making forests worth more standing than cut.
Over the last 12 years FAS, a multi-stakeholder network based in Manaus, Brazil, has built up a unique testbed of evidence of new economic models that are working in the region - helping people who help forests. In the 11 million hectare areas where FAS has been working with local communities, deforestation has been reduced by 30% over 2008-2012 and further still by 43% 2013-2017. This is in stark contrast with other parts of Brazil where ‘deforestation economies’ have taken hold.
Jointly led by FAS and the Green Economy Coalition, the world’s largest alliance of civil society organisations, economists, institutions and businesses committed to the transition to green economies, the Amazon Green Economy Hub will radically scale up people-centred activities that make forests worth more standing than cut. It will connect policy initiatives, drive new financial flows and provide a space for participatory policy dialogue with local communities. FAS and GEC are calling all organisations with relevant knowledge, networks, finance and expertise in the Amazon to join them.
“The Amazon is burning, and all of our futures depend on it not burning. Despite the trauma of Covid-19, we are seeing a glimpse of a new, inclusive, bio-economy emerging in the Amazon from the ground up. It is providing an alternative pathway - creating jobs, revenues, restoring nature - and it’s stopping the burning” Oliver Greenfield, Convenor of the Green Economy Coalition.
Virgilio Viana, Director General of Fundação Amazonas Sustentável, said “The Amazon holds half the world’s biodiversity, and absorbs 25% of the world’s carbon. It is an asset that is too big, and too important, to fail. By ensuring that forests are more valuable standing than cut can turn the tide of deforestation, but to take it to scale we need to collaborate across national, regional and global levels”.
“The biggest challenges need the best collaboration,” says IIED’s Steve Bass, Senior Associate. “FAS and GEC – who have been at the heart of progress in inclusive green economies, respectively in the Amazon and internationally – together create a much-needed convening platform for spurring effective change, acting locally but reaching globally.”
For further information: Amazon Too Big to Fail Discussion paper
Emily Benson: firstname.lastname@example.org + 44 7771915591
Gabriel Sampaio : email@example.com +55 92 4009-8900
Notes for editors
The Green Economy Coalition (GEC) is the largest multi-stakeholder alliance committed to the transition to green economies. It’s 50+ members include Oxfam, WWF, UN Environment Programme, the ILO, CAFOD, and IIED, with national hubs in six continents, seek to build social demand and shift national and global policy towards a green economy.
The Fundação Amazonas Sustentável (FAS) is a multi-stakeholder network established in 2008 is based in Brazil pioneering inclusive and sustainable economic development for people and for nature.
What we learned at the Stories for Life Virtual Gathering
What do stories and story-telling have to do with the daunting challenges we face in the coming century? Turns out, quite a lot.
We're all desperate to get back to normal. But should we?
A poem by our special advisor, Kumi Naidoo.