Monday, January 27, 2014

Data sharing and joint thinking urged for Amazonia

Zoraida Portillo in Countries in the Amazon region need better data sharing and a more holistic view of development if they are to avoid conflicts and costs relating to key resources such as water over the next 50 years, experts warn.

A report making recommendations for a new, international security agenda for the Amazon, says the region’s nations should link-up and circulate data on water, energy, health and food security to ensure sustainable development and tackle challenges posed by changes in climate and land use. A failure to do so, it says, could lead to far greater economic and social disruption in the mid-term and create unprecedented challenges for South America’s political leaders.

“The data exist, but are very fragmented,” says Andy Jarvis, a programme leader at the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT), and an author of the report released by CIAT and think-tank the Global Canopy Programme last month (17 December). The report was developed with input from science experts and political leaders from Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru.

According to Jarvis, existing data on matters crucial for the region’s future security are out of date, and there is a lack of a consistent monitoring on issues such as access to water, energy and health. Where there are data, the links between these issues, or between data collected at a regional, national or international level, are missing, he adds.

Jarvis also laments the disjointed approach to development in the region, with resource extraction currently dominating the development agenda, instead of efforts to deliver sustainable and holistic progress....

An Orange-winged Amazon near Yarina Lodge, Napo Province, Ecuador. Shot by Geoff Gallice, Wikimedia Commons via Flickr, under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license

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