Pathways to the creation of an Amazon Regional Platform: insights from the Amazon Summit

In the framework of the Euroclima program, the agencies AECID, ECLAC and GIZ, support the Amazon Cooperation Treaty Organization (ACTO)

in the implementation of the project for thecreation of an Amazon regional platform of Indigenous Peoples.  The platform is supposed to foster the fulfilment of the mandates of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC) and the Paris Agreement, related to the objective of recognizing the role of Amazon indigenous peoples’ knowledge and practices in climate change adaptation and mitigation.  The project seeks to establish an integrated Amazonian platform with the UNFCCC, facilitate knowledge exchange for mitigation and adaptation and formulate a regional strategy for Indigenous Peoples' climate action. By doing so, these knowledge systems can be adequately considered in the design of public policies, NDCs (Nationally Determined Contributions), and other activities related to climate change mitigation and adaptation.

Reflection from the Amazon Dialogues

In line with this objective, the project's progress and the outcomes from the regional event "Dialogue and Exchange of Experiences for the construction of the Amazon Regional Platform of Indigenous Peoples” held between July 19 and 21 were presented during the “Amazon Dialogues” on August 5th, in Belém do Pará, Brazil, a preliminary event to the Amazon Summit. This participation was in line with the conviction echoed by Sônia Guajajara, Minister of Indigenous Peoples of Brazil, during the regional event. Her insightful remark emphasized the importance of an indigenous platform within the framework of ACTO, as “governments and indigenous peoples need to dialogue like never before, and governments need to be open to traditional knowledge, they need to understand that indigenous ways of life are those that protect biodiversity”. This notion mirrors the central mission of the project, and the participation during the Amazon Dialogues aimed to reflect this perspective.

The Amazon Dialogues featured five plenary sessions organized by the Brazilian Federal Government, to discuss the sustainable and integrated development in the Amazon region, emphasizing social inclusion, responsibility, and climate justice. These sessions covered various topics, including bioeconomy, technical cooperation, water resource management, biodiversity conservation and climate change governance. In this frame, the event titled: “Avances de la construcción de la Plataforma Amazónica de Pueblos Indígenas en el ámbito de la OTCA y Pueblos Indígenas Amazónicos Rumbo a la COP” was organized.

WhatsApp Image 2023 08 18 at 4.19.24 PMThis event involved representatives from the Colombian Environmental Directorate and the Group of Latin America and Caribbean Countries’ (GRULAC) representative in the Facilitative Group of the Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities Platform of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The primary objective was to discuss the progress of the project, the steps forward, and the challenges in terms of achieving significant participation and making incidence in the forthcoming Conferences of the Parties of the UNFCCC (COPs). To achieve this aim, country representatives and indigenous peoples' delegates underscored the critical significance of deliberating and forging a path towards the establishment of the regional platform, as transmitted through a collective statement:

“The Indigenous Peoples' Platform is urge to be established within ACTO to give it technical and financial support, constituted as a joint working group between governments and Amazonian Indigenous Peoples to address issues of interest in accordance with their collective rights in order to increase the participation and inclusion of Indigenous Peoples and their knowledge in a holistic and integrated manner in the fight against climate change for their action in coordination with national and international levels, especially with the Local Communities and Indigenous Peoples Platform of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), in addition to being able to contribute to the work of the Convention on Biological Diversity and other conventions.[1]

The Amazon Summit: first ACTO gathering in 14 years

The Amazon Summit in Belém do Pará on August 8th and 9th marked the first meeting of the Amazon Cooperation Treaty Organization in 14 years. Brazilian President Lula da Silva[2] emphasized the summit's goal of reconstructing public policies for the Amazon region, considering it a significant milestone in this endeavour. The participation of the region's eight countries was essential to develop a new regional pact. Oswaldo Muca, head of the organization of Indigenous Peoples of the Colombian Amazon (OPIAC), emphasized:

"It's the first time a (Colombian) government has recognized that we play an important role in protecting the environment and the Amazon through our knowledge (…) The expectation is that as Indigenous people we can contribute and participate in policy-making from the start”.[3]

Certainly, acknowledging the participation of indigenous peoples and local communities in Amazon's decision-making processes is of utmost importance, given that the area is on the edge of reaching a tipping point that threatens ecosystems, biodiversity and detriment to the Amazonian livelihoods and cultures. While the eight Amazonian nations recognized the significance of a united regional front to safeguard the Amazon, they encountered difficulties in arriving at a consensus regarding a shared objective to halt deforestation. Instead, the responsibility of setting individual deforestation targets was delegated to each country. Brazilian President Lula da Silva, given his country's substantial Amazonian territory, advocated for a collective commitment to cease deforestation by 2030, a pledge he has already made. Nonetheless, a formal agreement remained elusive. Similarly, Colombian President Gustavo Petro's persistent call to discontinue new oil exploration in the Amazon region remained unanswered.[4]

On a positive note, significant agreements materialized within the concluding joint statement, the Declaration of Belém, which garnered signatures from the eight Amazon Basin countries' representatives on August 8th. This declaration presents a cohesive vision encompassing 113 comprehensive objectives and principles, by robustly emphasizing the safeguarding of indigenous rights, in addition to establishing collaboration on water management, healthcare, unified stances during climate summits, and strategies for sustainable development. In this line, the declaration recognizes that:

“ACTO is the only intergovernmental coordination body of the eight Amazonian countries for the joint development of projects and actions that produce equitable and beneficial results for the Amazonian countries, due to its institutional framework, its extensive knowledge of the region and the relevant experience of its Permanent Secretariat in coordinating dialogue and the implementation of cooperation initiatives for development.”[5]

Furthermore, the Declaration of Belém highlights the need of the creation of a regional platform, this is materialized through two specific principles that distinctly reinforce this priority. Firstly, under the main objective of “ACTO institutional strengthening”, the principle 6 establishes:

“Establish the Amazon Indigenous Peoples Mechanism to promote dialogue between governments and indigenous peoples of the Amazon, with a view to managing and coordinating indigenous peoples' issues that contribute to the objectives of ACTO[6].”


Additionally, under the main objective of “Climate change” the Declaration of Belen through the principle 43 emphasize:

“Strengthen participation, from an Amazonian perspective, in the Platform of Local Communities and Indigenous Peoples of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, in coordination with the Amazonian Indigenous Peoples Mechanism[7].”

Certainly, the Declaration of Belém sheds light on the importance of strengthening the Amazon Cooperation Treaty Organization (ACTO), as is the only intergovernmental coordination body of the eight countries. This underlines the heightened significance of establishing a regional platform. This platform would serve as a pivotal force in shaping policy-making by acknowledging the contribution of indigenous peoples' knowledge and practices within the Amazon to address climate change adaptation and mitigation measures. Hence, the declaration of Belém effectively lays the foundation for the attainment of this goal, precisely outlined by those two principles.

In this way, the Declaration of Belém offers a crucial commitment and makes it unequivocally clear: immediate, transformative action is the sole option to protect the standing forest and the welfare of indigenous peoples and local communities in the Amazon region. As we forge ahead, it becomes crystal clear that the fusion of this commitment, and the reinforcement of the identified two key principles, along with the subsequent actions holds the key to securing the Amazon regions future and the achievement of a regional platform.

ABOUT Euroclima:

Euroclima is a program co-funded by the European Union and the German federal government through the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). The Program's mission is to reduce the impact of climate change and its effects in 33 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean by promoting mitigation, adaptation, resilience, climate investment and biodiversity. To this end, it is implemented according to the "Spirit of Team Europe" under the synergistic work of seven agencies: Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID), AFD Group: Agence Française de Développement (AFD)/ Expertise France (EF), Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), Fundación Internacional y para Iberoamérica de Administración y Políticas Públicas (FIIAPP), Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).


The Amazon Cooperation Treaty Organization (ACTO), is an Intergovernmental Organization established under the 1978 Amazonian Cooperation Treaty (ACT). It consists of eight Member Countries: Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Peru, Suriname, and Venezuela. ACTO's core mission revolves around fostering harmonious development within the Amazonian territories, wherein collaborative efforts among the Amazonian countries yield fair and mutually advantageous outcomes, ultimately contributing to the sustainable development of the Amazon Region. One of the critical areas of focus for ACTO is the advancement and implementation of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change decisions within the Amazon Region.


[1] Original statement in spanish: Establecer la Plataforma de Pueblos Indígenas en el ámbito de la OTCA para darle soporte técnico financiero constituido como un grupo de trabajo paritario entre los gobiernos y los Pueblos Indígenas amazónicos para el tratamiento de asuntos de interés de conformidad con sus derechos colectivos con el fin de aumentar la participación e inclusión de los Pueblos Indígenas y sus conocimientos de una manera holística e integrada en la lucha contra el cambio climático para su actuación en coordinación con los niveles nacionales e internacionales, especialmente con la Plataforma de Comunidades Locales y Pueblos Indígenas de la Convención Marco de Naciones Unidas sobre el Cambio Climático (CMNUCC), además de poder contribuir al trabajo de la Convención de Diversidad Biológica y de otras convenciones.

Source: Avances de la construcción de la Plataforma Amazónica de Pueblos Indígenas en el ámbito de la OTCA y Pueblos Indígenas Amazónicos Rumbo a la COP – OTCA

[2] Source: Amazon Dialogues — Secretaria-Geral (

[3] Source: Brazil regional summit raises hopes for Amazon protection (

[4] Source: Amazon nations fail to agree on deforestation goal at summit | Reuters

[5]Original quote in portuguese: “Reconhecendo que a OTCA é a única instância de coordenação intergovernamental dos oito países amazônicos para o desenvolvimento conjunto de projetos e ações que produzam resultados equitativos e benéficos para os países amazônicos, em razão de sua institucionalidade, do seu amplo conhecimento da região e da relevante experiência de sua Secretaria Permanente na coordenação do diálogo e na execução de iniciativas de cooperação para o desenvolvimento”. Declaração Presidencial por ocasião da Cúpula da Amazônia – IV Reunião de Presidentes dos Estados Partes no Tratado de Cooperação Amazônica — Ministério das Relações Exteriores (

[6] Original quote: “Estabelecer o Mecanismo Amazônico dos Povos Indígenas para promover o diálogo entre governos e povos indígenas da Amazônia, tendo em vista a gestão e coordenação de questões relativas aos povos indígenas que contribuam para os objetivos da OTCA”.

[7] Original quote “Fortalecer a participação, a partir de uma perspectiva amazônica, na Plataforma de Comunidades Locais e Povos Indígenas da Convenção-Quadro das Nações Unidas sobre Mudança do Clima, em coordenação com o Mecanismo Amazônico dos Povos Indígenas”.


Euroclima is the European Union's flagship programme on environmental sustainability and climate change with Latin America. It aims to reduce the impact of climate change and its effects in Latin America by promoting climate change mitigation and adaptation through resilience and investment. 
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