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.
The goals and objectives reached for Amazon BMP included the following: