Under the umbrella of the International Year on Biodiversity (IYB 2010) and the International Year of Forests (IYF 2011), a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Secretariat of the CBD and the Secretariat of the ITTO was signed on 2 March 2010, in order to strengthen collaboration in the pursuit of their common objective of conserving and sustainably managing tropical forest resources and biodiversity. This Collaborative Initiative was formally adopted by the governing bodies of the CBD and ITTO in October and December 2010 respectively. This Initiative was further supported by the Decision on Forest Biodiversity adopted by the 10th Conference of the Parties of CBD held in Nagoya, Japan, on 18-29 October 2010, which recommends the development of collaborative actions between the two Secretariats to strengthen the implementation of the CBD Programme of Work on Forest Biodiversity in ITTO Producer Member Countries. The key concerns that motivated the ITTO-CBD Initiative as well as the Aichi Targets in Nagoya also underpin the Regional Biodiversity plan of the Strategic Agenda of ACTO.
The Amazon Cooperation Treaty Organization (ACTO) manifested its interest to participate in the ITTO/CBD Collaborative Initiative in order to assist member countries in their efforts to promote biodiversity conservation through ecologically responsible management of Amazon forests.
The mission of ACTO is to support regional cooperation towards sustainable development of the Amazon region by:
(a) Strengthening or creating technical and financial mechanisms and instruments to achieve its mission;
(b) Promoting the active participation of its members as regional and local actors involved in the implementation of solutions;
(c) Striving for an equitable distribution of the benefits
(d) Improving the negotiation capacity of member countries regarding themes of regional interest.
The proposed project will help respond to each of these demands in the environmental sector. Specifically, the project will help address sub-topic A1 of the Strategic Agenda on Forests, which is aimed at promoting the conservation, rehabilitation, reforestation and maintenance of management activities in forests and degraded areas across the Amazon Region. In addition, the project will also build directly upon other ACTO-led projects and initiatives, including PANAMAZON II (also supported by ITTO), work on Integrated and Sustainable Management of Transboundary Water Resources, and recent work to develop a Regional Platform for Amazon Cooperation in the Environmental Field.