In recent weeks, indigenous representatives from 90 organizations from across the Amazon Basin unanimously approved a new action plan that calls for a pan-Amazonian “consolidation” for the survival of ancestral knowledge and the protection of forests, water, biodiversity and the climate. The action plan, titled, “The Manaus Mandate: Indigenous Action for Life” is the end result of the First Regional Amazonian Summit, which took place in Manaus, the capital of the Brazilian state of Amazonas, from August 15-18. The four-day summit, organized by the Coordinator of Indigenous Organizations in the Amazon Basin (COICA), brought together representatives of indigenous peoples from all nine Amazonian countries, as well as government representatives, international organizations and members of civil society from across the Amazon Basin.
A wide range of issues were explored at the summit including the COP 17 summit on climate change, to be held in December 2011 in Durban, South Africa; the adequacy of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples; and the implementation of the International Labor Organization Convention 169. Participating organizations included CIDOB (Bolivia), COIAB (Brazil), CONFENIAE (Ecuador), OPIAC (Colombia), APA (Guyana), FOAG (French Guiana ), AIDESEP (Peru), ORPIA (Venezuela) and OIS (Suriname). The summit’s declaration is on the COICA website as a PDF (Spanish version). (Intercontinental Cry, Sept. 18)