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Cablegate: Andean Organizations Tell Their Story at the 2nd Meeting Of

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ZNR UUUUU ZZH
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FM AMEMBASSY BRASILIA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 1819
INFO RUEHZN/ENVIRONMENT SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY COLLECTIVE
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RUEHAC/AMEMBASSY ASUNCION 6839
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RUEHRI/AMCONSUL RIO DE JANEIRO 6225

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 04 BRASILIA 000770

SIPDIS

DEPT PASS USAID TO LAC/RSD, LAC/SAM, G/ENV, PPC/ENV

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: SENV EAGR EAID TBIO ECON SOCI XR BR
SUBJECT: ANDEAN ORGANIZATIONS TELL THEIR STORY AT THE 2ND MEETING OF
THE INITIATIVE FOR CONSERVATION IN THE ANDEAN AMAZON


BRASILIA 00000770 001.2 OF 004


1. SUMMARY. The USAID-funded Initiative for Conservation of the
Andean Amazon (ICAA) brought together 75 participants for the Second
ICAA Partners Meeting, held in Quito, Ecuador from May 18-23, 2008.
ICAA is a five year program (2006-2011) based in the Amazon regions
of Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru to build constituencies and
local capacity for sustainable use and conservation of biodiversity
and environmental services. The ICAA program promotes a regional
vision of conservation and economic development by strengthening
environmental management, enhancing participative planning,
developing conservation alliances with the private sector, and
improving the use of valuable natural resources.

2. Ecuadorian Ministers Marcela Aguinaga (Ministry of the
Environment) and Veronica Sion (Ministry of Tourism) and USAID
Mission Director Alexandria Panehal welcomed the group to Ecuador.
The workshop included lectures, meetings, roundtables, training
courses, and a field trip to the Cayambe-Coca Ecological Reserve and
Kichwa communities in the upper Amazon watershed. Meeting
participants included ICAA's twenty partner organizations, USAID
staff from the four program Missions and the Latin American and
Caribbean Bureau, and the State Department Regional Environmental
Hub office (Brasilia). END SUMMARY.

SETTING THE CONTEXT: CONSERVATION IN THE ANDEAN AMAZON

3. The Andean Amazon is the most biologically diverse region in the
world, providing critical environmental services for the planet. It
is rich with current and potential resources, and is home to
hundreds of indigenous communities with centuries of traditional
knowledge in the use of these unique resources. Deforestation,
unsustainable farming, mining, and poorly planned infrastructure
projects damage the region's biodiversity and livelihoods of local
peoples, resulting in environmental costs for the entire world.
However, a growing awareness of the role that natural resources play
in sound development provides a strategic opportunity to address
these threats. NOTE: Andean Amazon is defined as the Amazon Basin
portions of the Andean countries Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and
Bolivia. END NOTE.

4. According to a recent report by the Andean Community entitled
'Climate Change has no borders' (CAN: El Cambio Climatico no tiene
fronteras), the Andean Amazon countries will lose a significant
amount of their GDP to climate change by the year 2025: Bolivia,
7.3%; Colombia, 4.5%; Ecuador, 6.2%; and Peru, 4.4%. ICAA's Support
Unit plans a meeting on Climate Change and the Andean Amazon during
the first trimester of 2009 to share information on social and
environmental adaptation, mitigation, and case studies. State
Department's Environmental Hub Office will sponsor a workshop on
Andean glacier melt related to climate change in January 2009.

5. In most of the Andean Amazon countries, disputes for land tenure
rights often create conflicts which impede conservation efforts.
Although indigenous territories account for more land coverage than
traditional protected areas (e.g., national parks and reserves),
many indigenous lands overlap with proposed or active hydrocarbon
exploration lots and/or logging activities. These and other
dynamics generate frequent conflicts, environmental and human health
hazards, rapid social change, and tenure disputes. Furthermore,
indigenous agencies in most regional governments are lower-level
offices with insufficient resources and political power to
adequately manage such issues.


BRASILIA 00000770 002.2 OF 004


6. The mega-infrastructure development project for South America,
IIRSA, is a shared concern for ICAA partner organizations. The
following are some of the IIRSA projects that will directly affect
ICAA projects: Interoceanic Sur (road and rail projects in Peru and
Bolivia); Pucallpa-Cruzeiro do Sul (energy integration in Brazil and
Peru); hydroelectric plant Coca-Codo-Sinclair (Ecuador); Northern
Corridor Bolivia (roads); Manta-Manaus highway (Ecuador, Peru,
Brazil); hydrocarbon extraction in Peru (Lote 107); and hydrocarbon
extraction in the Bahuaja-Sonene National Park (Madre de Dios,
Peru). ICAA partners will participate in a September 2008 event
sponsored by Conservation International, WWF, and BICECA to discuss
the impact of infrastructure projects in the Amazon, the second such
co-sponsored effort with ICAA.

ICAA ACTIVITIES: ORGANIZATION, CONSORTIA, PROGRAM AREAS

7. ICAA consists of four field-based consortia and a Support Unit
that assists USAID with program management. The 4 ICAA consortia
include 20 implementing partners of NGOs, universities, indigenous
and local organizations, government agencies, and research
organizations. ICAA is managed by USAID staff in Washington and a
region-wide USAID Amazon working group consisting of representatives
from Missions in all four program countries (Colombia, Ecuador, Peru
and Bolivia). ICAA collaborates closely with the bilateral
USAID/Brazil Amazon conservation activities and DOS Regional
Environmental Hub Office (Brasilia).

8. The four ICAA field consortia focus on building local capacity
for conservation. The four consortia are: 1) Sustainable
Livelihoods; 2) Indigenous Landscapes; 3) Madidi-Manu Conservation
Corridor; and 4) Environmental Management in the Madre de Dios-Pando
Region. USAID will allocate another four million dollars for a
fifth consortium, which will be selected by October, 2008.

9. The Sustainable Livelihoods consortium works with sustainable
coffee, cocoa, forest production, and tourism. The consortium aims
to increase the number of areas in the Andean Amazon region under
good management, especially those areas located near fragile
ecosystems. The group also aims to increase sales and cost
competitiveness of its products. Members of the consortium include
the Rainforest Alliance, Fundacion Natura Colombia, and Conservacion
y Desarollo (Ecuador).

10. The Indigenous Landscapes consortium is led by the Nature
Conservancy (Ecuador and Peru), Instituto Bien Comun (Peru), and
Fundacion para la Sobrevivencia del Pueblo Cofan (Ecuador). The
consortium supports indigenous groups to define, protect and manage
indigenous territories in Peru and Ecuador, strengthen the
organizational and financial sustainability of indigenous
organizations, and build regional indigenous capacity for outreach
and collaboration. Working closely with government agencies, the
consortium addresses infrastructure, land tenure and other issues
related to indigenous lands, including proposed new reserves to
protect isolated indigenous peoples. NOTE: See recent photos and
news regarding an isolated indigenous group in the Peru-Brazil
border area on BBC and Survival International web pages.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/742 6794.stm and
http://www.survival-international.org END NOTE

11. The Madidi-Manu Conservation Corridor group includes the
Wildlife Conservation Society, Amazon Conservation Association (Peru
and Bolivia), Fundacion PUMA (Bolivia), Fondo de las Americas

BRASILIA 00000770 003.2 OF 004


(Peru), and Sociedad Peruana de Derecho Ambiental (SPDA). The
consortium focuses on protected area management, capacity-building
for government agencies, local communities and indigenous groups,
and landscape-level planning within the corridor region between
Madidi National Park (Bolivia) and Manu National Park (Peru).

12. The Madre de Dios-Pando Consortium seeks to strengthen
environmental management and local institutions in these regions of
Peru and Bolivia. Program areas include building environmental
awareness and knowledge through universities and schools, and
developing road impact mitigation plans with local government for
the Interoceanic and other highways. The consortium also intends to
develop watershed management plans for the Tahuamanu and Abuna
rivers. The consortium is comprised of the following groups:
University of Florida, Universidad Amazonica de Madre de Dios
(UNAMAD-Peru), Proyecto Especial Madre de Dios (Peru), Woods Hole
Research Center, Bolivian NGO Herencia and Universidad Amazonica de
Pando (UAP-Bolivia). NOTE: As part of the USAID/Brazil bilateral
program, the Brazil Mission supports complementary technical
cooperation activities focusing on development of participatory
environmental management plans with government agencies and civil
society in the Acre river watershed area and related Acre state road
corridors. END NOTE.

13. The Support Unit for ICAA constitutes the fifth consortium and
includes International Resources Group, Peruvian NGO SPDA, Academy
for Educational Development, Conservation Strategy Fund, and Social
Impact. The Support Unit assists USAID in managing ICAA programs
through reporting and communications, training and capacity
building, performance monitoring, small grants, public-private
partnerships, and cross-cutting working groups on infrastructure and
territorial management.

MEETING RESULTS: STRENGTHENED COLLABORATION AND COMMUNICATION

14. During the week-long ICAA workshop entitled, "Telling our
Story," participants heard from ICAA partners, as well as an invited
panel of recognized Amazonian specialists including: Rosalia
Arteaga, ex-General Director of the Amazon Cooperation Treaty
Organization, former Vice President of Ecuador, and current
Executive Director of the NGO Fundacion Natura Regional for Ecuador
and Colombia; Jacob Olander, carbon markets expert and Executive
Director of the environmental consulting firm EcoDecision; and
Trevor Stevenson, Co-Director of the NGO Amazon Alliance. These
specialists conveyed the importance of globalization and regional
politics, and biodiversity-related markets (e.g., carbon, tourism,
certified agricultural products, environmental services), and the
importance of integrating the voices of indigenous groups in shaping
policy and adaptive measures to climate change.

15. This 2nd Meeting of ICAA offered Consortium representatives
capacity-building courses on a range of issues including: innovative
financial mechanisms for conservation; communication instruments;
Rainforest Alliance and Smart Voyager certification standards;
informal alert system for climate change in the southwestern Amazon;
guaranteeing land-tenure in indigenous lands; payment for ecosystem
services; participatory mapping of indigenous lands; actions to
influence and improve public policies; gender and sustainability.

16. Meeting results also included region-wide information sharing,
discussion of improved technical workplans and results frameworks,
strengthened collaboration within and across ICAA consortia of

BRASILIA 00000770 004.2 OF 004


implementing partners, new skills for private sector conservation
alliances, communication, participatory mapping, and environmental
advocacy. Partners and USAID Missions agreed to new targets and
formats for a forthcoming annual Amazon-wide report of USAID
conservation activities and program-wide indicators for enhanced
communication and Congressional reporting. Participants further
refined their common vision and their united team approach for
Amazonian conservation.

17. Future capacity-building courses are planned to include a
Cost-Benefit Analysis of Infrastructure Projects, and an Exchange of
Experience within Indigenous Communities. A long-distance learning
packet is being prepared that will include instructions for
training-the-trainer on central issues such as IIRSA, biofuels,
climate change, etc.

SMALL GRANTS

18. USAID announced a competitive small-grants program within ICAA,
which will allocate a total of USD 600,000 to indigenous communities
and organizations in the Andean Amazon region (Colombia, Ecuador,
Peru and Bolivia). Projects will receive between USD 5,000 and
50,000 and must present innovative conservation initiatives that
strengthen the technical and organizational capacities of indigenous
communities. Only non-US organizations currently not receiving ICAA
funding will be eligible. Call for projects will commence in late
June/early July 2008.

NEXT STEPS

19. The Third ICAA Partners' Meeting is tentatively planned for
March, 2009 in Bolivia. In the meantime, consortia members will
work to reach measurable indicators, which can be presented to the
US congress: 1) number of hectares under improved management; 2)
number of hectares of biologically-significant areas under improved
management; 3) number of participants trained; 4) PLAR (policies,
laws, agreements, and regulations) implemented; 5) Number of
co-sponsored political dialogues carried out; and 6) resources
leveraged. Other next steps include the forthcoming USAID call for
proposals for a new ICAA consortium, the small grants program
launch, public launch of the ICAA website, and a capacity building
course in cost-benefit analysis of infrastructure projects.

20. COMMENTS: Although ICAA is composed of highly-experienced and
competent organizations from the Andean Amazon region, it is still
evident that working at a regional level is a challenge, especially
with the current tension between Colombia and Ecuador and with the
Government of Bolivia threatening to suspend all international
cooperation programs. ICAA offers a unique and timely opportunity
for USAID regional and bilateral Mission programs in the Amazon to
fulfill an important role in the global responsibility of reducing
the impact of climate change. ICAA partners and USAID are committed
to the ICAA goal of building local capacity to conserve and manage
Amazonian resources, as well as to secure a safe and sustainable
future for the people of the region. END COMMENT.

SOBEL


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