Belem Declaration

Belem Declaration

This article covers “Daily Current Affairs” and the topic details “Belem Declaration”. The topic “Belem Declaration” has relevance in the “Ecology and Environment” section of the UPSC CSE exam.

For Prelims:

What is the Belem Declaration? 

What is Amazon Cooperation Treaty Organization (ACTO)?

For Mains:

GS3:  Ecology and Environment – Conservation 

Why in the news?

During the Amazon Summit, the eight South American countries signed the Belém Declaration.

About the Belem Declaration

  • The Belem Declaration is an agreement signed by Amazon Cooperation Treaty Organization (ACTO) countries to tackle threats to the Amazon rainforest and its importance in the climate crisis.
  • Consolidating Consensus: The declaration reflects the joint goals of Brazil, Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Peru, Suriname, and Venezuela. It consists of 113 objectives and principles signed in Belém, Brazil.
  • Promoting Sustainability: The Belem Declaration supports sustainable use of Amazon’s biodiversity resources and values Indigenous knowledge for conservation, advocating their participation in decision-making.
  • Financial Mechanisms: It introduces financial mechanisms for sustainable development and assigns a central role to ACTO in implementing the new Amazon cooperation agenda.

Urgent Need

  • The declaration emphasizes regional awareness and cooperation to prevent the “point of no return” in the Amazon, where deforestation, degradation, and global warming disrupt its self-regeneration.
  • Amazon Alliance: The eight presidents have agreed to establish the Amazon Alliance to Combat Deforestation, which will be based on national objectives such as zero deforestation by 2030.

Amazon Cooperation Treaty Organization (ACTO)

  • Members: Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Peru, Suriname, and Venezuela, 
  • Objectives: ACTO aims to harmoniously develop Amazonian territories and was created in 1995 to implement the goals of the ACT.
  • Permanent Secretariat: Based in Brasilia, Brazil, ACTO’s Permanent Secretariat oversees its activities.

Evolution of ATCO

  • Inception through ACT:
      • The Amazon Cooperation Treaty (ACT), established in 1978, led to the formation of ACTO.
      • ACTO’s Purpose: ACTO’s primary focus is fostering balanced development within Amazonian regions.
  • Advancement via ACTO:
    • In 1995, the eight nations chose to establish the Amazon Cooperation Treaty Organization (ACTO) with the aim of reinforcing and realizing the goals outlined in the Amazon Cooperation Treaty.

Amazon Rainforest: Earth’s Precious Ecosystem

  • Extent: The Amazon rainforest spans across Brazil, Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Peru, Suriname, Venezuela, and French Guiana.
  • Largest Tropical Rainforest: Covering nearly 60% of Brazil and parts of other countries, the Amazon rainforest holds immense ecological significance.
  • Key Features of the Landscape:
    • Biodiversity: Holds around 10% of Earth’s known species.
    • Forest Coverage: Encompasses 1.6 billion acres of dense forests, nearly half of the world’s remaining tropical forests.
    • Freshwater: Contains 20% of the global liquid freshwater.
    • Amazon Basin: Spans 2.7 million square miles in the Amazon basin, constituting about 40% of South America.
  • Importance of the Amazon Rainforest:
    • Earth’s Lungs: Termed the ‘lungs of the Earth,’ it absorbs carbon dioxide and releases oxygen on a large scale.
    • Global Health Connection: The well-being of the Amazon is intertwined with the planet’s health.
    • Biodiversity Hub: Despite covering only 1% of the world’s surface, it’s a habitat for 10% of known wildlife species.
    • Climate Stabilization: Contains an estimated 150-200 billion tons of carbon, aiding local and global climate stability.
  • Threats to the Amazon Rainforest:
    • Deforestation Surge:
        • Deforestation in the first half of 2022 was three times higher compared to the same period in 2017.
        • Deforestation has been steadily increasing over the past five years, showing no signs of slowing down.
    • Impact of Climate Change:
      • Drying Tropical Forests: Rising global temperatures lead to the drying of tropical forests, elevating the risk of forest fires.
    • Extensive Forest Loss and Damage:
      • Clearance for Multiple Purposes: Vast forested areas are cleared for agriculture, logging, infrastructure like roads, hydropower dams, and mining.
    • Food and Agricultural Pressures:
      • Rising Food Demand: Global demand for food, particularly meat, drives agricultural expansion.
      • Beef and Soy Exports: Brazil has become the world’s largest beef exporter and the second-largest exporter of soybeans, predominantly used for livestock feed.

Leaders from South American Nations Challenge Developed Countries to Stop Amazon Destruction at Belem Summit – The Hindu 

Yojna daily current affairs eng med 12th August 2023


Q1. With reference to Belem Declaration, consider the following statements: 

  1. The Belem Declaration was signed by the eight South American countries during the Amazon Summit.
  2. The Belem Declaration aims to address threats to the Global rainforest and its significance in the climate crisis.
  3. Belem is a city in Bolivia. 

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

(a) 1 only

(b) 2 and 3 only

(c) 3 only 

(d) None 

Answer: (a) 


Q2. Consider the following :

  1. Bolivia
  2. Colombia
  3. Ecuador
  4. Peru
  5. Chile 
  6. French Guiana


How many of the abovementioned countries are part of the Amazon Cooperation Treaty Organization (ACTO) ?

(a) Only two

(b) Only three

(c) Only four

(d) Only five 

Answer: (c)

Q3. Explain the significance of the Belem Declaration in the context of Amazon rainforest conservation and the climate crisis. How does it emphasize the urgent need for regional cooperation for conservation? 

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