Investing in the Amazon’s future: Empowering indigenous communities as natural custodians

Friday 3 June
17:15-18:30 CEST
Stockholmsmässan, Room 4

Organizers: The Inter-American Development Bank, The Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency

About: Rapid deforestation, mainly driven by unsustainable agricultural expansion and logging - together with global warming, is turning the Amazon into a net emitter of greenhouse gases. It also comes with a devastating loss of the Amazon’s natural habitats and biodiversity and the main engine of nutrient and hydrological cycles of the South American Continent.

Hence, there is an urgent need to shift investments and economic development that drive deforestation to alternative ones that prioritize natural capital and offer climate benefits, including sustainable agroforestry with natural forest products linked to non-timber production under a bio-economy model.

There is also a growing understanding of how indigenous territories can be vital shields against deforestation. In Bolivia, for example, it is estimated that 90% of deforestation occurs outside indigenous territories. Thus, the indigenous communities are crucial safe guardians of the rainforest. Promoting sustainable production activities, which also deliver higher income levels, becomes a critical strategy to strengthen indigenous and other rural communities.

This session will share experiences on how to proactively work to preserve a healthy Amazon through the promotion of participatory models in which the capacity of local communities to conserve the natural capital of their territories is strengthened.

Moderator(s): Fazia Pusterla (Inter-American Development Bank Group)


  • Carin Jämtin (Sida)
  • José Gregorio Diaz Mirabal (COICA)
  • Natalia Calderón (Fundación Amigos de la Naturaleza)
  • Keyvan Macedo (Natura &Co)
  • Loic Comolli (NESsT)

Contact person: Carlos Ayala (

Event outcomes (Key transformative actions):

  • The financial sector needs to enable lending to the bio businesses in order to reduce forestation, starting now.
  • Donors must act now to acknowledge the role of indigenous people and contribute to empowering local indigenous communities and strengthening their role as custodians for the rain forest.
  • The youth are key enablers for the digitalisation and innovation including innovative business models. More support will be directed to this target group in partnership with others.

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