We are currently participating in the Amazon Regional Articulation (ARA) program, created in 2007 with the provision of Avina, to build common strategies to adapt to climate change impacts in Amazon countries. ARA was born from a process of convening a civil society organizations to articulate their initiatives, which were being developed separately in the Amazon basin, to determine how to conserve 80% of the Amazon biome and combat the factors contributing to deforestation in Amazonia. In parallel to the creation of a regional platform, national ARAs were created in Brazil, Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Venezuela, which operate independently and have their own dynamics.
ARA in Colombia unites efforts among different civil society organizations and the State, for the same purpose of contributing to conservation of the Amazon. This conservation objective articulates best civil society practices and projects, for which a strategy was mounted on the three axes of forestry transparency, cultural valuing, and new economies.
Around these axes, conservation initiatives have developed that include environmental governance efforts framed by cultural valuing; the participation of Colombia in the Amazon Network for Geo-referenced Socio-Environmental Information (RAISG) and participation in the Amazon Indigenous Health Network (SIAMA), as well as setting up the first exercise in social control, Amazonas 2030, as activities under forest transparency and economy of the biosphere, projects for Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD +) and incentives for environmental services payments, framed in the new economies.
Amazonas 2030 is a system for accountability, which tracks the government and the private sector and constitutes a mechanism of social control over public policy, focusing directly on the various initiatives articulated in the context of ARA Colombia. It grew out of an alliance between civil society organizations, private companies and media, and promotes sustainability and quality of life in the Colombian Amazon, in the context of climate change.
Gaia Amazonas, the Foundation Etnollano, ALISOS (Partnerships for Sustainability) Semana publications and CECODES (Colombian Business Council for Sustainable Development), form part of the alliance.
A first example of the construction of indicators and a baseline on the Colombian Amazon in general, was produced by this alliance. Results of the exercise were officially presented on Thursday, November 4th, 2010 in Bogota. This initiative is expected to provide continuous and consistent information in the long-term and, in turn, strengthen other initiatives. It may become an important source of information on development indicators in the region, allowing interaction with the government and the rest of the country. Amazonas 2030 also hopes to provide opportunities for dialogue and debate to discuss the major threats facing the Colombian Amazon basin, chiefly mining.
The Amazon Network for Geo-referenced Socio-Environmental Information (RAISG) is a space for exchange and coordination of information (socio-environmentally geo-referenced), at the service of processes that link collective rights with the valuing and sustainability of socio-environmental diversity in the Amazon region. Since 2007, RAISG has met annually and has conducted various technical workshops for product development. For example in 2009 it published the map “Amazonia 2009: protected areas and indigenous territories”, and a preliminary version of "Amazonia under pressure," a poster presented at the COP15.
In 2010, RAISG continued with the analysis of pressures on the Amazon and hopes to publish an atlas, with updated map of protected areas and indigenous territories. Preparations have also begun to develop an updated map of deforestation throughout the Amazon, for the years 2000, 2005 and 2010.
Gaia Amazonas has worked from Colombia in the definition and joint development of products made by RAISG, such as upgrading to 2010 map of indigenous territories and protected areas and the Atlas of deforestation pressures, fires, roads, hydroelectric, mining and hydrocarbons.