International Relations

Acto (Amazon Cooperation Treaty Organisation)

  • In a historic step, eight South American countries have banded together to combat the crucial issue of deforestation in the Amazon rainforest at the Amazon Cooperation Treaty Organisation (ACTO) summit, which is being hosted by Brazil.
  • It’s interesting to note that this summit is the first of its kind in the group’s 14-year history.

What is ACTO?

  • ACTO is an international organisation founded to protect the Amazon basin and promote its sustainable development via international cooperation.
  • Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Peru, Suriname, and Venezuela drafted and signed the Amazon Cooperation Treaty on July 3, 1978.
  • Evolution into ACTO: In 1995, these countries formalised their commitment by creating ACTO to aggressively pursue the original treaty’s objectives.
  • ACTO is available in four official languages: Dutch, English, Portuguese, and Spanish.

The need for ACTO

  • Deforestation occurs when land is cleared for agriculture, logging, mining, or infrastructure development, resulting in massive deforestation that reduces the extent of the forest and disrupts ecosystems.
  • Deforestation has disturbed the Amazon’s role as a carbon sink, potentially turning it into a carbon source and aggravating climate change.
  • Unregulated and unsustainable logging practises contribute to deforestation, habitat damage, and biodiversity loss.
  • Encroachment of indigenous lands and territories disturbs traditional ways of life and cultural practises, negatively harming both populations and ecosystems.
  • Forest Fire: Uncontrolled fires, which are frequently set on purpose to clear land, can spread quickly, destroying enormous amounts of forest and spewing carbon dioxide into the sky.

Conservation and Development Initiatives of ACTO

  • Amazonian Management: ACTO member countries recognise that successful management of the Amazon basin is critical to improving the well-being of its population.
  • Collaboration programmes and agreements have been formed to assure biodiversity preservation, conservation initiatives, and resource management in the region.
  • GEF Amazonas Project: This programme, funded by the Global Environment Facility, attempts to gain consensus on a renewable and integrated water supply for sustainable development.
  • ACTO Biodiversity Programme: This programme focuses on preserving a harmonious biological equilibrium in order to prevent Amazonian ecosystem fragmentation.

Significant Achievement: The Declaration of Manaus (2004)

  • ACTO was instrumental in developing the Manaus Declaration in 2004, which coordinated the development of the huge rainforest area spanning around 2.9 million square miles.
  • Reiteration of Commitment: The declaration underlined member countries’ commitment to fostering social and economic development in the Amazon while conserving its distinct traditions.
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