ASL NEWSLETTER | June 2023 |en español | em português
Dear ASL Friends,
On World Environment Day (June 5th) we had the opportunity to reflect upon the critical role the Amazon rainforest plays in our planet's ecological balance. We were reminded of the immense significance of the Amazon as the world's largest tropical rainforest, spanning across a big portion of South America and harboring an astonishing array of plant and animal species. However, as we all know, the Amazon faces grave threats such as deforestation, illegal logging, water contamination, and unsustainable productive practices that endanger the provision of essential ecosystem services and the well-being of millions of people.

The third phase of the ASL program (ASL3) approved by the GEF council, demonstrates a renewed commitment among Amazon countries to address the urgent challenges and propose integrated conservation, restoration, and sustainable production solutions for the Amazon. With a GEF commitment of almost $98 million, ASL3 aims to enhance regional collaboration and investments towards improved integrated landscape conservation and sustainable management in targeted areas in the Amazon region. 
ASL3 builds upon past successes fostering partnerships and knowledge sharing, as well as innovative approaches to protect the Amazon's ecosystems, ensure the well-being of local communities, and safeguard invaluable environmental benefits. Many of these successes are included in the 2022 ASL annual report that we are also happy to share in this newsletter. 

With ongoing ASL phases and a new one in the making, let’s continue to join forces in support of the Amazon, advocating for its protection and promoting sustainable practices that can ensure its preservation for generations to come. Together, we can make a difference and safeguard this natural treasure that holds the key and knowledge to a healthier and more sustainable future for our planet.
Warm regards,
The ASL Regional Team 
News at a glance (scroll down to read more)
  • ASL Progress Report 2022
  • ASL regional coordination project: Lessons learned to date and recommendations
  • Addressing illegal mining and mercury use in the Amazon 

Stories from our national projects
  • Rural environmental registry event with municipalities in Belém, state of Pará – Brazil Amazon Sustainable Landscapes project
  • Youth from the Colombian Amazon participate in the World Bank's Youth Summit 2023 – Forest Conservation and Sustainability in the Heart of the Colombian Amazon project
  • Local farmers of the Yarí region in Colombia commit to reconcile with nature –Sustainable Amazon for Peace project
  • Chocolate that adds value – Sustainable Productive Landscapes Project in the Peruvian Amazon
ASL Progress Report 2022
The ASL's 2022 Progress Report provides an overview of our program and showcases the accomplishments, challenges, and lessons from the ASL1 and ASL2 projects, all of which have been possible thanks to the successful collaboration with governments, project teams, civil society, donors, and other organizations working in the Amazon region. More information on the third phase (ASL3) of the program is also included.

Full report in English | Spanish | Portuguese
ASL regional coordination project: Lessons learned to date and recommendations
The ASL regional project plays a vital role in bringing together a wide array of stakeholders from multiple countries working in the Amazon and in creating and nurturing linkages and relationships for an integrated program. This document is a compilation of lessons learned to date since the program’s initial phase. It takes stock of what has worked well and how to improve the regional project’s performance and impact and provides relevant recommendations. The lessons emerged from ongoing monitoring of the program, surveys conducted among stakeholders, internal reflection within the team, conversations with partners and stakeholders, and feedback from ASL-hosted events. These will also inform the design of the regional project for ASL3. We hope this information is also useful to other agencies implementing GEF-funded and other regional projects and programs involving coordination and knowledge management.
Addressing illegal mining and mercury use in the Amazon
Illegal gold mining in the Amazon has caused degradation of forests and rivers, biodiversity loss, and has substantially impacted the health of indigenous and local communities. To help address this situation, the ASL regional project commissioned a set of activities aimed at strengthening regional collaboration to counteract, restore, and respond to the impacts of gold mining and pollution generated by mercury use.

The Foundation for Conservation and Sustainable Development (FCDS), which leads the Regional Alliance for the Reduction of the Impacts of Gold Mining in the Amazon (ARAIMO), led a participatory effort to increase knowledge and enhance awareness on this subject. This resulted in roadmaps for collaborative actions to be developed in frontier areas in Brazil, Colombia, and Peru, and to potentially scale up. As part of the process, the ASL worked with the Conservation Strategy Fund (CSF) to adapt the calculator originally designed for Brazil to estimate the socio-environmental costs of gold mining to Colombian and Peruvian contexts. Its implementation was piloted in the focalized frontier areas.

  • Read the report here
  • See Story Map here
Stories from our national projects
Rural environmental registry event with municipalities in Belém, state of Pará Brazil Amazon Sustainable Landscapes project
ASL Brazil participated in the opening panel and a lecture at the "1st State Workshop on Environmental Regularization: The Municipalization of The Rural Environmental Registry (CAR) Analysis." The event was organized by the Secretariat of Environment and Sustainability of Pará (SEMA). During the event, SEMA presented an analysis of the state-level policy on rural environmental registry.
Amazon youth participate in the World Bank's Youth Summit 2023 Forest Conservation and Sustainability in the Heart of the Colombian Amazon project
From Bajo Caguán, Cartagena del Chairá, and San José del Guaviare in Colombia, Deysi Jiménez, Mayerly Hoyos, Víctor Sánchez, and Carlos Lombana participated in the World Bank Group's 10th Youth Summit in Bogotá, Colombia. The summit seeks to engage young people in the most pressing issues facing their generation, bringing together thousands of participants from around the world, connected both virtually and in-person at the Bank’s headquarters.

Under the theme "From the Ground Up: Local Solutions to Drive Global Impact," the sessions invited the participants to reflect on how locally generated development solutions can be elevated globally and scaled across regions while honoring local ownership, knowledge, and solutions as the way to responsibly address global development challenges.
Local farmers of the Yarí region in Colombia commit to reconcile with nature Sustainable Amazon for Peace project
Learn how local communities in the Colombian Amazon are helping to conserve and restore the forest, contributing in turn to a peaceful environment in the region. Local farmers are strengthening their knowledge to create long-term governance that allows for reconciliation with nature and the reconstruction of the social fabric and coexistence, with women and younger generations leading the way.
Chocolate that adds value Sustainable Productive Landscapes Project in the Peruvian Amazon
The Sustainable Productive Landscapes in the Peruvian Amazon Project seeks to coordinate efforts among multiple actors to improve the quality of life of Amazonian producers by placing value on biodiversity conservation. 

Read more (in Spanish) about the story of the Chocolate Women´s Association "Chocolate Corazón" working in Nolberth del Alto Uruya, Ucayali. Through a joint effort, this association is now able to improve its production process with a new plant that transforms their product into environmentally friendly chocolates.
Infographic celebrating Amazon biodiversity
The Amazon biome is the most biodiverse place on Earth hosting 10% percent of the world’s known species, including endemic and endangered species, and contributing to crucial ecosystem services at the local, regional, and global levels. Learn more about some of the most emblematic species in the rainforest in this infographic.
ASL-recommended publications, resources & events
* ASL partners and teams: Please share with us your publications to showcase in this newsletter. 
Brazil Country Climate and Development Report
The Brazil Country Climate and Development Report (CCDR) examines the implications of climate change and climate action for achieving Brazil's development objectives and priorities. It identifies opportunities for Brazil to achieve both its development goals and its climate commitments. It lays out a combination of sectoral and economy-wide policy reforms, as well as targeted investments in near- and medium-term mitigation and adaptation measures to achieve inclusive development with lower greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The idea is to maximize synergies between climate and development objectives, while addressing trade-offs among policy objectives and key transition challenges.
Report: A Balancing Act for Brazil’s Amazonian States – An Economic Memorandum
The Amazon is one of the world’s last frontier regions. But economic expansion has moved into its ancient forests, destroying them at a rapid rate—especially in Brazil’s southeastern area, within what is known as the "Arc of Deforestation"—and threatening the ways of life of many traditional communities. There is an urgent need for an alternative development path that promotes inclusion and sustainable natural-resource use. This memorandum presents a multi-pronged approach, a balancing act that seeks, through specific strategic actions, to simultaneously provide a pathway to higher incomes for Amazonians while also protecting natural forests and traditional ways of life.
The Effects of Transportation Infrastructure on Deforestation in the Amazon – A General Equilibrium Approach
Investments in transportation infrastructure can impact the environment beyond their immediate surroundings. This paper builds an interregional trade model to estimate the general equilibrium effects of changes in infrastructure on deforestation. Using panel data on the evolution of the transportation network in Brazil and land use data in the Amazon, the paper estimates the model and finds sizable effects of infrastructure on deforestation. Model simulations show that ignoring general equilibrium underestimates the impacts of deforestation by one quarter. The paper also shows the model can be used for evaluating deforestation induced by individual projects, an essential input for public policies.
Natural Heritage of Peru, nature for all, nature forever – Second edition
Natural protected areas (NPAs) are natural spaces for exchange and learning and with cultural elements that are closely linked with the Peruvian identity. They are also places with high tourism potential and a source of livelihoods that have benefited Indigenous Peoples and local communities for generations.

Prepared by the ASL Peru project, the second edition of this report narrates the lessons learned from the design phase and progress towards the implementation of the Natural Heritage Initiative of Peru.
E-course: Green, Social and Sustainability (GSS) Bonds: Sustainable finance solutions for emerging markets
The course aims to help country officials and the general public understand the principles and financing tools available to countries in the capital markets to achieve their Sustainable Development Goals and meet their Paris Agreement commitments. It leverages the World Bank Treasury’s experience as a pioneer in the GSS Bond market, as the largest issuer of sustainability bonds and as a lead provider of technical assistance to clients in collaboration with various global practices. The course explains the rationale for utilizing GSS bonds, the process for issuing them, and how the World Bank can help countries achieve green, more resilient, and inclusive growth with the hope that one day all finance will be sustainable.

This is a free, 40-minute self-paced course in English.
More information on how to enroll here
Recommended webinar
Mapping Forest Biomass

Thursday, July 6, 2023
11 AM – 12 PM Central European Summer Time (CEST)
Over a year ago, the World Bank started a collaboration with the European Space Agency (ESA) within a project EO4SD-Forest Management to support activities in the Putumayo-Içá river basin, benefiting key stakeholders. The overarching goal is to derive key geo-information products from Earth Observation data in support of forest development initiatives. As part of the process, a series of publicly available webinars have been designed by the consortium led by the ESA. Registration is required and these will be held in Spanish and English.

Join the upcoming webinar organized by EO4SD to discover how Earth Observation (EO) and ground information are being used to map forest biomass. Experts will delve into two compelling use cases in the Amazon Basin and the Republic of Congo, highlighting the value of biomass maps for informed forest management decision making.

More information on how to register here
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