Home to 33 million people, including at least 350 different ethnic indigenous groups—approximately 60 of which remain voluntarily isolated—the world’s greatest diversity of species, and one fifth of the world’s forests, the Amazon ecological and social significance is difficult to overstate. With deforestation rates once again on the rise and climate change impacts disrupting ecosystem functions and threatening local livelihoods, government decision-makers are facing ever-greater challenges in setting priorities and designing interventions. Moreover, the impacts of investments in infrastructure and the extractive industries threaten irreversible harm to the Amazon´s already fragile ecosystems and indigenous peoples’ way of life.
The goal of USAID Promotion of Best Social and Environmental Management Practices (BMPs) in the Amazon Region Activity was to reduce the negative impact of large-scale infrastructure projects, extractive activities, and climate stress on the Amazon forest and its water resources—and ultimately in the region and the world—by promoting the adoption of environmental and social best management practices. To achieve this, the Activity partnered with private sector champions working on infrastructure (roads, hydropower) and extractive activities (mining and oil), while also reaching out to government institutions, business associations, civil society organizations, and other key stakeholders to support the adoption of BMPs and environmental governance practices.
OUR GOALS AND RESULTS
The goals and objectives reached for Amazon BMP included the following:
- Sensitized and trained1,496 leaders and representatives from the private sectors, the government, and civil society, including 44% women / 56% men and 60+ indigenous representatives from 25 organizations on BMPs.
- Established partnerships and collaborative arrangements with key stakeholders from the private sector, the government, and civil society, including indigenous peoples in Peru and Colombia to promote and enable the adoption of best environmental and social practices.
- Identified key barriers to and opportunities for the adoption of BMPs in the Amazon region, leaving behind sector specific assessments and recommendations for the transportation infrastructure and hydrocarbon sectors in Colombia.
- Inventoried BMPs as applicable to the Amazon region and consolidated them into 3 comprehensive guidelines:
- Best Practices Reference Guide Volume I: Social inclusion and gender equality
- Best Practices Reference Guide Volume II: Forest management and biodiversity
- Best Practices Reference Guide III: Management of water resources, water bodies and associated biodiversity
- Developed and applied a training of trainers program and toolkits, and delivered them to indigenous group organizations in Colombia and Peru.
- Developed and delivered an industry scorecard for business associations to monitor progress on the adoption of sectoral BMPS by operating in the Amazon region.