The Indigenous Peoples of the Amazon Basin, through their ancestral knowledge and wisdom, have protected the Amazonia for millennia. In 2021, the coalition “Amazonia for Life: Protect 80% by 2025” proposed a global pact for the permanent protection of 80% of the Amazonia by 2025 as an urgent measure to prevent the tipping point and address the triple planetary crisis. Approximately 60 indigenous organizations and more than 1200 organizations across the world have joined our call. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Resolution 129 in 2021 has served for Amazonian countries and the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII) to recognize the tipping point as the main threat in the region. However, only Colombia has adopted the goal as an official position

The international community has not yet taken measures congruent with the vertiginous evolution of the warming that the Amazonia and the planet are experiencing. Therefore, we see the need to make governments and humanity aware of the crucial moment we are living and to raise again the call of 2021 expressed in the IUCN Resolution 129 and UNPFII Resolutions 18 and 19 with a roadmap towards a global pact that includes the following points:  

  1. A Pan-Amazonian regional vision: peoples, ecosystems, rivers, forests are not governed by national boundaries. The national plans should result in a regional protection of at least 80% of the Amazonia, a minimum threshold to avoid the tipping point. The basin begins in the Andes, flows down through the Andean Amazon, which holds the greatest biodiversity on the planet, and bathes 847 million hectares until it reaches the Atlantic. 
  2. Create a regional observatory that harmonizes data, methodologies, and indigenous knowledge to support the formulation of binding regional policies. The first step is a regional diagnosis that gathers Peoples’ livelihood plans and national plans that lead to a regional plan with guidelines to the Amazonian States. 
  3. Ensure that the adoption of the 80% by 2025 strategy is the beginning of a just transition in the Amazonia, respecting national policies and international commitments for the protection of human rights, Indigenous rights and environmental rights.  
  4. Include Indigenous Peoples and local communities in decision-making processes for the construction and implementation of public policy in the Amazonia.   
  5. Create a Pan-Amazon Fund: In the same way that ecosystems are interconnected and policies taken in one country influence the entire region, the ravages will also be felt throughout the region and at all levels. Amazonian countries cannot compete with each other for international funds but must go together as a block to ensure regional impacts. A fund governed by the principles of equity and transparency will allow a common vision of regional priorities, emergencies and solutions.
  6. Ensure direct access to financial and technical resources to Indigenous Peoples and local communities to enable the implementation of their own territorial management models and livelihood plans. Generate capacities for them to exercise their territorial rights while respecting their knowledge and governance systems. To this end, the Amazon Indigenous Fund for Life will be created. 
  7. Establish mechanisms for social control, enforcement and institutional strengthening to guarantee the integrity of the territories, the rights of their inhabitants, and compliance with the 143 priorities established in the Belém Declaration. 
  8. Accelerate the processes of legal recognition, demarcation and sustainable financing of 100 million hectares of Indigenous territories, as well as the territories of traditional communities, as part of the immediate solutions against an imminent tipping point, the climate crisis, the presence of criminal groups, drug traffickers and other illicit groups, and the accelerated loss of biodiversity.   
  9. Prioritize the recognition of the territories of Indigenous Peoples in voluntary isolation and initial contact throughout the basin to guarantee their survival and due respect for human rights and the integrity of the ecosystems they inhabit. 
  10. Guarantee the ecosystem integrity of at least 80% of the Amazonia through an immediate moratorium on intensive and extractive industrial activities that affect all primary forests in the Amazonia (255 million hectares), at least until their legal protection is effective through a declaration of permanent protection.
  11. Define a territorial management regime for non-designated areas aimed at conservation, as well as establish incentives and legal frameworks for the protection of ecosystem integrity by individuals or private and public legal entities.
  12. Immediate restoration of degraded ecosystems using Indigenous knowledge systems to restore ecosystem functionality and integrity and improve the livelihoods of Indigenous Peoples and local communities.  
  13. Promote the co-management of designated and undesignated protected areas by Indigenous Peoples and local communities.
  14. In the framework of the exercise of the right to self-determination and autonomy of the Peoples and of Target 3 of the Global Biodiversity Framework, the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) of the Amazonian countries must include the Indigenous territories after a process of free, prior and informed consultation where the differentiated benefits between the State and the Peoples and communities are specified in detail. 
  15. Industrialized countries must guarantee a predictable flow of resources and legal frameworks that prevent value chains involving their financial institutions and extractive companies from extending their operations to affect ecosystem integrity in the region: agribusiness, fossil fuels, mining, logging, among other industrial activities.
  16. Prioritization by multilateral banks of the transition from current development models to a new one that allows the preservation of 80% of the Amazonia, through debt mechanisms, such as conditional debt cancellation.
  17. Commitment of the financial sector to ensure the respect of Indigenous Peoples’ rights and to end deforestation in all the supply chains the sector finances.
  18. Generate mechanisms to ensure transparency and accountability in the financial sector and value chains, States and climate finance, protected areas and Indigenous territories.  

The Amazonia is the largest tropical rainforest on the planet, one of the largest carbon and mercury sinks, and the most bio-culturally diverse region in the world. It is home to 511 Indigenous Peoples, including 66 groups living in voluntary isolation and initial contact. The Amazon Basin is home to one-third of the Earth’s plant and animal species and holds 20 percent of freshwater. It functions as the biological heart of our planet: it sequesters and stores large amounts of carbon, regulates continental and global climate, produces oxygen and rainfall, drives weather systems, among other benefits for humanity and life on the planet.

For millennia, Indigenous knowledge and governance systems have sustained the survival of the Amazonia and the integrity of other ecosystems that are vital to life on the planet. Only recently has science recognized the role of Indigenous Peoples, and their knowledge and governance as effective measures for the conservation of life. The irrefutable proof is that 80% of the planet’s biodiversity is in the Indigenous territories, which represent 22% of the globe.

Indigenous territories and protected areas are vital to protect the Amazonia. Together they cover about 50% of the region. Global targets fall short in the Amazonia. The region requires an additional 30% to avoid a regional and planetary debacle. In order to achieve this, there must be an unwavering commitment from the States so that their political will crystallizes into resources. Indigenous Peoples and other traditional communities receive less than 1% of climate change funding; their territories have been excluded from national budgets despite maintaining conservation levels comparable or higher than those of protected areas; the same protected areas have been dismantled with budget cuts and concessions to mining and oil sectors. A just transition is needed so that the Amazonian countries can develop from conservation and not from extractive industries. There is no room for more rhetoric. Nearly half (45%) of the intact forest in the Amazon is in indigenous territories, an area larger than France, Great Britain, Germany, Italy, Norway and Spain combined.

Science shows that 26 percent of the Amazonia has already been transformed, and irreversible loss is around 20 percent. Scientists have defined the tipping point as the threshold where deforestation and degradation combined add up to more than 20 percent, a stage that can translate into the death of the entire ecosystem or metastasis. This would result in massive carbon dioxide emissions and bring rapid and catastrophic consequences for global climate stability. Symptoms of the tipping point in the Amazonia may interconnect in cascading dynamics in other ecosystems accelerating other tipping points. There is an identified teleconnection propagation pathway between the Amazonia and other ecosystems, such as the Tibetan Plateau and the changing boreal forest of West Antarctica and other 16 points.

It is not theory – since 2023, the symptoms have worsened. We are experiencing the worst drought of the Amazon River in 120 years; between 2001 and 2020, at least 120 million hectares of Amazonian forests were affected by fire, an extension equivalent to the size of Spain; the fires have not stopped; we are experiencing a heat wave in all Amazonian countries, among many other symptoms that evidence an advanced state towards the tipping point.

There are regions in the Amazonia where the tipping point is a sad reality, and the 63 Celsius degrees recorded in Rio de Janeiro, in March 2024, confirm that we have entered an unknown scenario for which we are not prepared. Our actions in the coming years will determine the fate of our planet for millennia. Ensuring the integrity of hydrological systems, biodiversity and guaranteeing the fundamental role of the Amazonia as a global climate regulator requires that at least 80 percent of its forests remain intact

This is a call to establish a global pact for the permanent protection of 80 percent of the Amazon rainforest by 2025, agreed upon by all Amazonian governments, and endorsed by Indigenous Peoples and the international community.

We urge the Amazon Basin countries to declare a state of emergency and immediately halt the expansion of destructive industrial activities, government policies and harmful public subsidies that enable further forest destruction. A state of emergency would address the drivers of deforestation while leaving room for the design and implementation of strategies aimed at lasting transformational change.

Industrialized nations must recognize their role in climate change, as well as the transcendental role of the Amazonia in its mitigation, and channel all the necessary resources to guarantee a just transition for those of us who inhabit the biome and for their own citizens. The time to act is now.

The Indigenous Peoples of the nine Amazonian countries invite governments, scientists, cities, financial institutions and all sectors that are willing to act for the planet to join and support this initiative. Signing this declaration is a first step to avoid the tipping point and protect 80% of the Amazonia by 2025.

The Coordinator of Indigenous Organizations of the Amazon Basin (COICA), together with more than 60 Amazonian Indigenous organizations and nearly 1200 civil society organizations around the world, call for a declaration of a state of emergency in the Amazonia and the prioritization of actions at all levels.

In solidarity with the Indigenous Peoples of the Amazonia, the Executive Committee of the initiative Amazonia for Life: Protect 80% by 2025: COICA, Stand.earth, Re: Wild, AVAAZ, Amazon Watch, Wild Heritage, RAISG, One Earth, Earth Insights, CONFENIAE, AIDESEP, ORPIA, COIAB.

Join us to protect 80% of the Amazonia by 2025.
Sign the declaration.