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Amazon Cities Forum Launched with IDB Support

BELÉM, Brazil – Mayors from Amazonian cities today launched the Amazon Cities Forum, devoted to building a new vision of sustainable development for the Amazon region. The forum will serve as a permanent platform for Amazon mayors to collaborate, exchange best practices and experiences, and jointly address the social and environmental challenges faced by cities and territories while ensuring the peoples’ rights and leadership.

The launch of the new forum occurred in advance of the Amazon Presidential Summit, and after a high-level discussion between more than 20 mayors. The event was organized by the Government of Belem and supported by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) Cities Network.

At the meeting mayors and civil society representatives discussed the role of cities in advancing sustainable development in the Amazon and green financing. Mayors took part in working sessions to discuss institutional capacity, sustainable jobs and bioeconomy, climate change, and urban planning in the Amazon context.

The Amazon Cities Forum, which seeks to become part of the Amazon Cooperation Treaty Organization (ACTO), will be supported by the IDB’s Amazonia Forever, a holistic, regional program that aims to accelerate the region's development through a territorial approach that scales up financing, shares knowledge, and enhances regional coordination and collaboration across the eight Amazon countries.

Over the last few years, the urban population in the Amazon region has grown rapidly, surpassing 70% in many countries. This surge has strained the provision of urban services such as planning, management and infrastructure, healthy and safe housing, education, food security, drinking water, sanitation, and waste management.

At the same time, cities in the Amazon are strategic locations for addressing environmental and development goals, offering essential paths for sustainable development, services and opportunities, and promoting new jobs through sustainable livelihood alternatives, such as tourism, bioeconomy, sustainable value chains and investments in science, technology and innovation.

Mayors will drive a comprehensive program for sustainable urbanization in the Amazon region, encompassing urban growth management and planning, infrastructure, climate change mitigation and adaptation, social inclusion and equity, sustainable waste management, and water and sanitation.

Through regular meetings, workshops, and shared resources, the Forum will foster collective action towards sustainable and resilient cities, aligned with the global agenda, but driven by local and national governments. The mayors also committed to actively contribute to the international dialogue on climate change by establishing a clear pathway towards the UN Climate Change Conference (COP30) to be held in the city of Belém, Brazil, in 2025.

Besides the urban challenges faced by the Amazon cities, mayors highlighted an urgent need to strengthen local governments, especially enhancing institutional capacity and effective multi-level coordination, financing and improving and sharing knowledge and know-how.

“We need to elaborate development plans and establish alliances to advance towards a true sustainable development, based on the recognition of real life in the Amazonian territory, with the participation of local authorities and civil society. This is how development programs gain strength and become effective in building a just, happy and sustainable future. The support of the IDB, through the Amazonia Forever program, will be key to facilitate coordination between cities, develop investment plans and scale up financing, so that Amazonian cities can fulfill their role of protecting the Amazon and offer better opportunities to its inhabitants,” said the mayor of Belém, Edmilson Rodrigues.

"From the IDB Cities Network, we continue working to support the cities of the Amazon. The mayors of the region have expressed to us how important it is for them to get to know each other, establish ties, listen to good practices, and find peers with whom they can share common experiences, to join forces and work together for concrete results that change the lives of people in the Amazon,” said Maria Camila Uribe, Coordinator of the IDB Cities Network.

Amazonia Forever

Amazonia Forever is an umbrella and holistic program that aims at protect biodiversity and accelerate sustainable development in three lines of action: expanding funding, boosting knowledge exchange, and facilitating regional coordination to help decision-making among the eight Amazonian countries.

The program is based on five pillars: (i) combating deforestation and strengthening environmental control and security in the context of national governments; (ii) bioeconomy, promoting alternative and sustainable economic activities; (iii) people, aiming at adequate access to quality education, healthcare, and employment; (iv) sustainable cities and infrastructure and connectivity; and (v) sustainable, low-carbon agriculture, livestock and forestry. In addition, the program focuses on promoting the inclusion of women, indigenous peoples, people of African descent and local communities; climate and forest conservation; and strengthening institutional capacities and the rule of law.


About the IDB

The Inter-American Development Bank is devoted to improving lives. Established in 1959, the IDB is a leading source of long-term financing for economic, social, and institutional development in Latin America and the Caribbean. The IDB also conducts cutting-edge research projects and provides policy advice, technical assistance, and training to public- and private-sector clients throughout the region. Take our virtual tour.


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