'Declaration of Belém Has Gaps, but Paves Way for Goals', Say Experts
The signing of the Declaration of Belem by the eight member countries of ACTO (Amazon Cooperation Treaty Organization) last Tuesday (8) established a common international agenda for the preservation of the Amazon forest. Despite its gaps, the document provides guidelines for creating cooperation mechanisms and future goals. For experts heard by Folha, the Amazon Summit had among its merits the reactivation of ACTO the last meeting of the bloc had taken place in 2009. According to Antonio Maues, a professor at the Federal University of Para, the declaration paves the way for the organization to be strengthened. The researcher mentions the commitment to create an Additional Protocol within the treaty, so that the presidents of member countries, when gathered, can take decisions in a collegial manner. NGOs working in the Amazon stated that two important issues were left out of the text: the establishment of deadlines for reducing deforestation and the creation of barriers to oil exploration in the region. The Minister of the Environment and Climate Change of Brazil, Marina Silva, said that the nations haven't committed to zero deforestation due to a lack of consensus.