Learn about the ambitious Amazon Sacred Headwater initiative

Jordy Muus

December 9, 2021

The Amazon Sacred Headwaters initiative led by indigenous groups aims to protect 80% of the Ecuadorian and Peruvian Amazon by 2025.  

The indigenous groups allied with several nongovernmental organizations proposed the plan at the United Nations Climate Summit, COP26. It stands out because one initiative by the U.N. in particular, the 30 by 30 initiative, has aimed to protect 30% of the Earth's land and ocean by 2030. Protecting 30% of forests is a significant contrast considering the 80% the Amazon Sacred Headwaters initiative proposes.

However, the plan's success is dependent on support from the Ecuadorian and Peruvian governments. When presented with the plan, representatives of both governments expressed support for the initiative and promised to highlight the project at the international level. To help support this, we at STNF want to help by writing about it in this blog.  

In addition, Peru's economy and finance minister, Pedro Francke, told the alliance that he was committed to assisting in the search for the means to achieve the ambitious goals.

The response of Ecuador's minister of environment, water, and ecological transition, Gustavo Manrique, to the plan's details was: "The initiative will be the focal point" of his ministry's work.

Protecting 80% of the Ecuadorian and Peruvian rainforest by 2025 is crucial because it holds one of the highest biodiversity globally. Also, details from the initiative presented at the COP26 estimate the prevention of over 2 billion metric tons of greenhouse gasses getting into the atmosphere. This will be due to halting exploitative industries from unsustainably extracting resources from the region.

The initiative once again shows the importance of empowering indigenous communities. We celebrate and applaud our colleagues on the proposal, and we will help spread the word internationally!

Read more about the initiative over at Mongabay.