Launch of the ‘Guardians of the Forest’ and the Manaus Action Plan marks the opening of the 12th Annual Meeting of the GCF in Manaus

Mar 17, 2022

The governor of Amazonas, Wilson Lima, officially opened the program of the 12th Annual Meeting of the Governors’ Climate and Forests Task Force (GCF Task Force), on Thursday (03/17). On the occasion, he launched the Forest Guardians program, one of the largest systems of Payments for Environmental Services (PES) in the world and invited investors to get to know the Amazon.

At the opening of the event the Manaus Action Plan was also signed. The program of the 12th meeting of the coalition of governors continues until this Friday (03/18).

Governor Wilson Lima, the current president of the task force, highlighted that the Amazon people are the most interested in preserving the forest. He made an appeal for big businessmen and companies to support initiatives to preserve the environment and make sure that development reaches those who live in the forest.

“The world today looks at the forest and only sees the trees. The world looks at the forest today and doesn’t see that, among the trees, there are real people living here. It is as if, just here in Brazil, 38 million citizens – a population larger than Norway, Finland, Denmark, Portugal and Sweden put together – simply did not exist. In the eyes of the world, today, we are 38 million invisible people,” said Wilson Lima.

The event, organized by the State Government, gathers until this Friday (03/18), at the Vasco Vasques Convention Center, with the governors of Amazonas, Acre and Amapá, the vice-governor of Mato Grosso, along side five governors from Colombia, Mexico, Indonesia and Peru, and more than 150 leaders from several countries with tropical forests.

“I end my speech by making two invitations to everyone – from the rich countries to the Brazilians who live in the most developed regions of Brazil. The first: get to know the Amazon. The second: invest in the Amazon. Come generate income and opportunities for the people who live in the Amazon. Our people are hardworking, talented, and valuable. We want and need everyone’s help to keep the forest standing and keep progressing to improve the lives of our children”, emphasized Wilson Lima.

Forest Guardians

Wilson Lima launched, at the opening of the GCF meeting, the selection notice for Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) that can implement and execute the Forest Guardians program, a restructuring of the Bolsa Floresta. Interested non-profit entities must submit an application for administrative, financial and environmental management, under the supervision of the State Secretary of Environment (Sema).

Among the main novelties of the program is the 100% increase in the amount of compensation paid to families living in the State Conservation Units (UCs). The grant will go from R$50 to R$100. There has also been a 50.5% increase in the number of families benefited, from 9,400 to 14,150 beneficiaries.

In addition, the Forest Guardians program expands the scope of the PSA: from the 16 Conservation Units initially benefited to now serving 28 Conservation Units their surrounding areas including riverside, traditional and indigenous communities.

Manaus Action Plan

The “MAP”, an acronym for Manaus Action Plan, is the main collective outcome of the GCF’s 12th Annual Meeting. It is a guiding document for the task force’s next actions, both joint and local.

The document places as a priority to the GCF agenda to the fight against poverty, which is still prevalent in tropical forest areas. In this way, the Plan will bring the development of the bioeconomy as a structuring axis for any subnational initiative to combat illegal deforestation and for the development of a low emission economy.

The proposal of the GCF task force is that the member states may utilize the Manaus Action Plan as a mechanism to raise funding in order to develop environmental strategies focused on strengthening traditional populations and reducing social inequalities of forest peoples.

Besides the MAP, Governor Wilson Lima also signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Brazilian Amazon GCF task force members and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

The partnership aims to support programs and projects of mutual interest, with a focus on the conservation of Amazonian biodiversity, the sustainable use of natural resources, and the development of partnerships with private sector companies, according to the availability of human and financial resources.

Land tenure regularization

Besides launching the Forest Guardians program, governor Wilson Lima also announced the delivery of Real Right of Use Concessions (CDRU) for residents of 13 Conservation Units (UC), benefiting more than 7.3 thousand families.

The document grants the territory of the Conservation Units to the traditional communities, ensuring the land title regularization of the protected area, the proof of sustainable activities for social security purposes, and the access to government policies for rural credit access.

Science, technology and innovation

The opening of the meeting was also marked by the launch of the Amazônia +10 initiative, a partnership designed in the scope of the National Council of State Research Support Foundations (Confap) and the National Council of State Secretaries for ST&I Affairs (Consecti) to promote science, technology and innovation in the Amazon region.

The fund involves all the Research Support Foundations (FAP’s) in Brazil, with an initial resource of R$100 million. The target to be reached is the funding of R$ 500 million, through partnerships with state research foundations, governments, private sector and international organizations for the development of projects for Science, Technology and Innovation (ST&I) in the Legal Amazon region.