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Recognizing the need to address the problems of environmental management and rational use of natural resources, the governments of the Amazon countries have assigned a high priority, through the Treaty for Amazonian Cooperation (TAC) signed by the countries in July 1978, to joint efforts for the harmonious development of their respective territories. The member countries have also found the Treaty for Amazonian Cooperation to be a good framework for binational cooperation on integration projects in their border areas.

The Plurinational Project on Amazonian Cooperation of the OAS General Secretariat has been supporting the TAC countries in these efforts since 1985. The project offers technical cooperation through binational or multinational activities in river basins and border areas of the Amazon region. It supports the activities of the Council on Amazonian Cooperation and its Secretariat pro tempore in the fields of natural resources development and environmental management and helps to obtain external resources for specific projects.

An important element of the Plurinational Project has been the execution of specific studies requested by the countries. The expected results from the studies under way in the border areas include: (a) a regional diagnosis of the general conditions in the area; (b) a proposal for environmental zoning that defines areas appropriate for sustainable productive activities and areas to be subject to environmental protection; (c) an integrated program to formulate development strategies and; (d) a comprehensive set of investment projects; formulated at the prefeasibility or feasibility level. These projects, prepared for selected areas, constitute an "immediate action program."

This document, technical in its approach, presents the methods and principal results achieved to date by the binational Amazonian cooperation programs. It is hoped that the experiences summarized here will be useful in furthering the sustainable development of the region.

Kirk P. Rodgers
Department of Regional Development and Environment

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