[Online Seminar Tambores de la Selva (Jungle Drums)] The Amazon and Climate Change

Picture: SGK Planet de Sandor Alejandro Gerendas-Kiss

The Webinar was held on 5 October to provide information and encourage discussion to have a better understanding of the role of the Amazon in biodiversity conservation and climate change

In recognition of the role of young people and the importance of their being well prepared to face new challenges, since August 2019 SDC has been responding to an appeal from the Coordinating Body of Indigenous Organizations of the Amazon Basin (COICA), supporting a programme for strengthening COICA’s internal knowledge management strategy and its external communication, by including young people and leaders.  This is a COICA Youth Program programme.

During the COVID19 health emergency, the COICA Youth Programme realized they needed to rethink the activities planned to promote youth participation and creativity, Thanks to the Programme, the young people (men and women) have formed a network across nine countries and have been encouraged and strengthened as leaders. They are planning to set up a platform in the near future which will enable them to continue strengthening capacities and knowledge management, and which will allow them to convey the messages of Tambores de la Selva.

The Webinar’s title was “Amazon and Climate Change”. It was a good opportunity to encourage young people to enter a competition, which aimed to encourage young people to use the communication tools identified in writing, photography and video for journalism, and to provide them with information about the Amazon and Climate Change, the competition’s central themes.

Gregorio Díaz Mirabal, COICA’s general coordinator, welcomed participants and urged the young people to listen carefully to the webinar’s presentations, because the information “… will allow you to understand the issues better, both the role of the Amazon and the conservation of biodiversity, as well as the devastating effects that the Amazon can suffer due to climate change”.

Martin Jaggi, Director of SDC, highlighted the importance for Switzerland of involving young people from the Amazon region in the defence of their land and their rights. “The Amazon is an essential heritage of humanity, and we are confident that the new generation, who are the present and future of the Amazon, will take the lead in continuing to care for this heritage,” he said.

His speech highlighted the value of information and training as a key pillar for young people: “It is therefore the duty for government, civil society, academia and international cooperation organizations  to promote opportunities for future young leaders to train, cultivate values and build skills for the benefit of life in the Amazon”..

He finished by pointing out the hope that work with young people will lead to action on innovative proposals to find solutions to the great challenges of the Amazon. “SDC recognizes these young people and COICA, which has been running the leaders’ program, and highlights the achievements and steps taken in such a short time, like the digital training platform, which overcomes distance and space barriers,” he concluded.

The Webinar was for students of communications, and had three keynote speeches: i) “The Amazon, a key ecosystem in the face of climate change”, by Carmen Josse, from ECOCIENCIA; ii) “How climate change is visible in the local context and what effects it has on the Amazon ecosystems”, by Heidi Rubio, from WWF; and iii) “Climate action by the youth of the Amazon”, by Connie Espinoza, from HIVOS-TOA.

The keynote speeches can be seen on the following videos.

Climate action of Amazon youth. Connie Espinoza (HIVOS-TOA)
The Amazon, a key ecosystem in the face of climate change. Carmen Josse (ECOSCIENCE)
How climate change is made visible in the local context and its effects on Amazon ecosystems. Heidi Rubio (WWF)

Reference documents (in Spanish)
PPT: “The Amazon, a key ecosystem in the face of climate change”.
PPT: “How climate change is visible in the local context and its effects on Amazon       ecosystems”.
PPT: “Climate Action of Amazon Youth”.

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La Agencia Suiza para el Desarrollo y la Cooperación (COSUDE) es la entidad encargada de la cooperación internacional dentro del Departamento Federal de Asuntos Exteriores (DFAE). Con otras oficinas de la Confederación, la COSUDE es responsable de la coordinación general de la cooperación para el desarrollo y de la cooperación con los Países del Este, así como de los programas de ayuda humanitaria suizos.