Quito, May 6 (IANS/EFE) Countries that share the Amazon basin resolved in the Ecuadorian city of Coca to create an observation center charged with promoting studies and coordinating actions to protect the rain forest, considered the lung of the planet.
That was one of the conclusions of the 12th foreign ministers’ meeting of the Amazon Cooperation Treaty Organization, or OTCA.
Taking part in the meeting at Coca in the Ecuadorian Amazon were representatives of Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Guiana, Peru, Suriname and Venezuela.
The statement said that the Amazon Regional Observation Center, to be created by OTCA, will be a “permanent forum” uniting “institutions and authorities engaged in studying the Amazon, as a reference center for regional information on biodiversity, natural resources and social diversity.”
A set of regulations for the center will be reviewed by a special working group on June 25-26 in Quito.
On those same dates, delegates of member countries will also meet in the Ecuadorian capital to perfect a plan for the “Network of Amazon Research Centers”, starting with a proposal presented by Ecuador that seeks to intensify and exchange knowledge and research results.
OTCA also seeks to “protect and preserve, within the framework of national and international law, the traditional knowledge of indigenous peoples”.
“Sustainable management of the Amazon jungle” was another of the priorities agreed upon at the Coca meeting.
“Promoting the image worldwide of the Amazon as a tourist geodestination” is another of the organization’s challenges, as are fighting the jungle’s endemic diseases and developing a “common strategy against illegal mining in the Amazon”.