Bogota will host this first meeting that seeks to promote citizen actions and initiatives to confront corruption in the forestry sector in four countries of the Amazon Basin and Mexico.
This effort is part of the work of Transparency International’s Environmental Governance Program for Latin America and the Caribbean.
The lack of strong measures to combat corruption in Latin America not only endangers democracy but also the Amazonian forests of the Amazon Basin and other strategic natural areas in the region. Faced with this serious situation, the Environmental Governance Program for Latin America and the Caribbean of Transparency International (TI) will hold the “First Anti-Corruption and Forest Governance School for the Amazon Basin countries of Peru, Colombia, Ecuador and Brazil” from March 13th to 15th, in the city of Bogota.
This event is aimed at civil society representatives from these four countries of the Amazon Basin, with previous experiences of leadership and activism in the defense of forests. These countries share a biome as the Amazon in which there are structural threats that need regional dialogues to propose a common agenda that leads to better forest governance in the Americas.
Due to its experience in anti-corruption matters and partnerships for forest governance in other regions, Mexico will participate in this First Anti-Corruption and Forest Governance Workshop to implement this model in other strategic regions such as the Lacandona Jungle, one of the most important biological zones in the region.
During three days, participants will be trained on the issue of corruption as one of the main drivers of deforestation in the Amazon Basin. Another topic to be addressed is the development of citizen surveillance and monitoring initiatives to tackle the challenges identified in forest management. The aim is to improve transparency standards and promote efficient control systems, as well as to encourage the full and effective participation of citizens and civil society. The presentations will be given by experts from these four countries.
Based on the knowledge gained, attendees will be able to form their own Anti-Corruption and National Forest Governance Networks in their countries and thus implement forms of dialogue, collaboration and advocacy at the Amazon Basin level. This initiative is already being promoted in Peru since 2019 under the name of Forest Anticorruption Networks (RAF in Spanish) in its three main Amazon regions: Loreto, Madre de Dios and Ucayali. The RAFs are made up of young students, civil society organizations and indigenous peoples.
“Latin America and the Caribbean are home to 50% of the planet’s biodiversity and a quarter of the world’s tropical forests, while the region is also one of the main sources of the global timber trade, both legal and illegal. Environmental crimes have reconfigured local, regional, national and international power relations and this has had serious governance consequences, affecting the planet, security, public health, and the economic and social development of our countries,” said Magaly Avila, representative of Transparency International’s Environmental Governance Program for Latin America and the Caribbean.
Therefore, Avila considered the creation of an Anti-Corruption and Forest Governance Network in the Amazon Basin important because “it responds to the challenge of creating a culture of transparency and accountability that will dynamize the region with effective anti-corruption actions”. In addition, she emphasized that it will enable the members of these networks to fight against corrupt practices that harm forest governance. Also, thanks to their citizen surveillance actions, they will be able to build a society with greater environmental justice, transparency and public ethics.
This first edition of the Anti-Corruption and Forest Governance Workshop is supported by the British Government.
About Transparency International’s Environmental Governance Program for Latin America and the Caribbean
This program is made up of seven national chapters of Transparency International: Peru, Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, Costa Rica, Ecuador and the Dominican Republic. Its objective is to influence environmental governance in the Amazon Basin of Latin America to improve transparency, accountability, forest management, compliance with human rights (with emphasis on environmental defenders and anti-corruption), as well as to generate capacities to identify and punish the criminal traceability chains that cause environmental crimes, mainly caused by corruption and organized crime.