Hosted at first day of the second week of the COP20, the Amazon Solutions Day focused on raising awareness about the importance of the Amazon for the regional climate of South America and world’s climate equilibrium. Sérgio Guimarães, Regional Coordinator of ARA (Articulación Regional Amazónica) stressed the impact of deforestation in other regions of Brazil, like Sao Paulo, which is now experiencing an intense drought. Although some people say it is too costly to invest in conservation, he replied that recent events have shown how climate change can impose much higher social and economic costs.
Moreover, sustainable development in fact facilitates economic and social progress in the region. H.E. Tião Viana, Governor of the Acre state (Brazil), presented how his state has been growing faster than Brazilian national rates, and at the same time investing in forest conservation. Amazon is the home of 30 million people, among which are some of the poorest in the world. Therefore, investing also in adaption is crucial to ensuring that vulnerable populations in the region are more resilient to extreme weather events. Despite all the potential for using renewable energy in the Amazon, panelists stressed that the region still relies on diesel and other unsustainable sources of energy.
The second part of the event was held in partnership with ARA. The Brazilian scientist Antonio Nobre, researcher at INPE (Brazilian National Institute of Spatial Research), alerted about the danger related to the historical process of deforestation of the Amazon. Nobre has recently published the study “The future climate of Amazonia”, in which he presented the importance of the Amazon for the climate and rain patterns in other Brazilian regions. In the last 40 years, the cumulative extent of deforestation in the Amazon reached near 763,000 square kilometers. According to the Brazilian scientist, we may have already reached the deforestation threshold, and it is time for talking about zero deforestation and policies for reestablishing the forest’s natural equilibrium. The event conclude with the launching of ARA’s campaign “Amazon Heart of the World”, which aims to raising awareness about the importance of the region for the world.