Amazon Regional Programme
The Amazon BioTrade Programme is a partnership between the Amazon Cooperation Treaty Organization (ACTO) and UNCTAD. It aims to promote the sustainable use and conservation of biodiversity through regional actions that favour trade and investment in biodiversity products and services in the Amazon region with emphasis on the fair and equitable sharing of benefits.
The Amazon BioTrade Programme focuses on four strategic lines:
1) Enabling policy and legislation;
2) Research and technological development;
3) Market development; and
4) Financial mechanisms. The beneficiaries are the eight Amazon-basin countries, namely Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Peru, Suriname and Venezuela.
The programme is financially supported by the government of the Netherlands (DGIS) and the German Agency for Technical Cooperation (GTZ). The programme's formulation phase was developed with the financial assistance of the United Nations Foundation (UNF) and the technical support of GTZ. The Sala Andes and Amazonia has been a concrete output of this collaboration and aims to differentiate BioTrade products and services derived from the Amazon and Andean regions.
Since 2007, the Programme has been implementing the specialized showroom "Sala Andes Amazonia" that promotes dialogue, dissemination of community experiences and articulation of sustainable businesses. This showroom has allowed the participation at ExpoSustentat trade fairs from 2007 to 2009, of over a hundred businesses and initiatives that are working with biodiversity-based products and services. It has benefited over 3,500 families that include indigenous peoples, traditional communities and farmers from Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru. The Sala is a joint effort of National BioTrade Programmes in the region, ACTO, UNCTAD, Ministry of Environment of Brazil, German Government (BMZ/GTZ), Government of the Netherlands (DGIS) and General Secretariat of the Andean Community (SGCAN).
The Amazon Cooperation Treaty Organization is a cooperation and political mechanism involving the eight Amazon countries, which is based on the 1978 Amazon Cooperation Treaty. It aims to create harmonization of regional policies with the objective of conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity. In 2003, the ACTO Secretariat conducted a consultative process for setting up a strategic work plan to guide the organization's future activities. This process resulted in a plan built on the basis of four strategic axes and six programmatic areas. The strategic plan was formally approved by the Meeting of Ministers of Foreign Affairs held on 14 September 2004. Biological Diversity, Biotechnology and BioTrade is one of the programmatic areas and the UNCTAD BioTrade Initiative was identified as a natural partner. In that same year, ACTO and UNCTAD BioTrade began discussions on a partnership to promote sustainable use of biodiversity in the Amazon region. At UNCTAD's Eleventh Session, held in Sao Paulo in June 2004, UNCTAD and ACTO signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the aim of assisting the Amazon countries in promoting trade and investment in biodiversity-based products and services through a regional programme.