Given the current international interest in the Basin as a critical element in global climate assessments, World Water Watch, along with partner organisations, is supporting and working with the eight participating countries in the Basin to facilitate practices to mitigate and adapt to climate change.
The Amazon Accords were signed 40 years ago with subsequent amendments and updates in 1990. The Accords provide an important guide to the eight countries that share the Basin.
In addition to sharing a common strategy for sustainable development in the Basin, the accords are of importance to the global community as a critical element in climate change policies and strategies. “AMZclimate2050” brings together an alliance of partner organizations to support ACTO (Amazon Cooperative Treaty Organization) and ongoing efforts to monitor and contribute to sustainable development in the Basin. The year 2050 may seem in the distant future, however the strategies and actions of ACTO, in conjunction with the eight cooperating countries, will provide a framework for success or failure in our shared goals.
AMZclimate2050 will establish a support system for ACTO to utilize environmental data that provides guidance for sustainable development in the Basin. Of particular interest will be the availability and documentation of trends and likely future impact of climate change on water resources, agriculture and biodiversity. It is the intent of AMZclimate2050 to involve stakeholders in each of the eight participating nations in climate change strategies and programs. Appropriate scenarios will be developed to include likely impacts through 2050 based on a range of changing climate parameters.
Paul Robillard was recently selected as a Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Center (Italy) Resident Fellow. The Bellagio Center supports individuals and organizations who are working to improve the lives of poor or vulnerable people globally by convening prominent experts, influencers, and other key stakeholders to advance knowledge and form new partnerships, financial commitments, and initiatives. While a Bellagio Fellow Paul is advancing a project to monitor and develop strategies for indigenous communities to adapt climate change. The project expands World Water Watch’s long-term AMZnet monitoring system. In addition, the project complements other World Water Watch initiatives including the International Watershed Academy (IWA) and AMZclimate 2050.
This project will develop methods for understanding and communicating the changes that indigenous populations are experiencing as a result of climate change. The project will describe the current key parameters which the scientific community have identified as influencing the lives of traditional communities. These communities are often isolated and in rural areas but on the front line of climate change. Indicators of change will include those experienced by indigenous communities in the Amazon Basin. Initially the impacts of climate change will include observations from Huaorani, Cofan, Shuar and Lowland Quichua communities.
The importance of establishing a communication network with these communities is the basis for the development of an interactive exchange benefitting the climate science community as well as native populations. Communities would become aware of likely future changes in precipitation and temperature patterns, particularly as they impact agriculture. Local communities would provide information about observed changes in daily life, particularly as they apply to water supply and agriculture.
Both climate scientists and traditional native communities would benefit from this network in terms of adapting to climate change as it modifies life zones. Climate scientists would gain access to information which relates to evolving problems and the changes native communities are experiencing. Native communities would benefit from information about how other communities are adapting to climate change. In addition, international research stations will provide information and recommendations about adaptive cultivation methods and crop alternatives given the changing regional climate.