3.1 Background and objectives
3.2 Methodological approach and operational structure
3.3 Binational plans and programs in execution
The member countries found the TAC to be a valuable framework for promoting binational cooperation in border areas by means of integrated projects. To establish mechanisms for the execution of border-zone projects, bilateral cooperation agreements were signed as a basis for integrated binational studies. To date, the bilateral agreements are Colombia-Ecuador and Colombia-Peru, both signed in March 1979; Brazil-Colombia, March 1981; Brazil-Peru, October 1979; and Bolivia-Brazil, August 1988. Map 1 shows the binational border projects established under these agreements.
In general terms, the objectives defined by the countries for the binational studies on border integration can be summarized as follows:
- To foster environmental management in the area of the binational projects and encourage autonomous and sustainable development by making proper use of natural resources potentials and respecting the constraints;
- To contribute to raising the living standards of the local people by generating productive activities and sources of employment, and to improve or install basic physical and social infrastructure that will meet the needs of the people;
- To promote the integration of each national area with the rest of the country and ensure that this integration acts as a catalyst for development;
- To carry out environmental zoning (ecological and economic) as a basis for land-use planning and to implement production models that consider the capacity of Amazonian ecosystems. These activities are part of a process of sustainable development in which traditional inhabitants of the region, including indigenous and native communities, can participate actively;
- To conserve the biodiversity of the region; and
- To strengthen the national agencies concerned with environmental planning and natural resource use, and to promote creation of mechanisms for joint interagency activities.
LOCALIZATION OF FRONTIER PROJECTS
The binational plans and programs all share a common purpose and employ a structured planning process for development of a given region. Their objectives pay particular attention to management of the natural resource base.
With these objectives and methods in mind, each country conducted basic studies of the part of its territory that was included in the plan. These studies gathered, organized, and analyzed information from national agencies concerned with natural resource mapping, use and management, and with the physical, social, and economic infrastructure. To supplement this, a catalogue of existing studies and projects in the study areas was compiled. Throughout this entire process, and even during the preparation of the regional diagnosis, more studies were conducted on the different ecosystem variables, in view of the importance of this matter for the development of the Amazonia.
A regional diagnosis of each of the border areas was made and the balance between its potentials and constraints served as the basis for preparing policy guidelines and strategies for structuring the binational border development plans. The processes varied according to the sequence followed by the Technical Committees that were created by the countries in order to execute the studies and to define specific objectives. Consideration was given to the prospects and critical aspects of each region and to the role each could play in the countries' development within the framework of the regional policies already defined by the multinational and binational agreements.
The activities of each plan or program were also governed by individual national policies as they relate to the particular border area. Similarly, each country has its own legal framework within which it carries out its planning for the management of its natural resources in Amazon regionia.
Execution of each binational plan or program followed a general structure which included: a Joint Commission, made up of representatives of the Ministries of Foreign Affairs: (the highest decision-making level for the implementation and coordination of the programs); an Executive Commission, which is responsible for coordinating the studies, a Technical Committee which acted as a bilateral supervisory and mediating body and which was responsible for executing the activities and analyzing and integrating the work produced by the technical bodies; and Technical Units, made up of a group of national specialists from the participating institutions, national and international institutions and consultants, and administrative personnel.
Annex 2 gives details of the operating structure of the binational border development programs.
The Governments of Colombia and Ecuador signed an Agreement on Amazonian Cooperation in March 1979, and in February of 1985 issued the Declaration of Rumichaca, in which they confirmed their decision to cooperate on the integrated development of their border area. On the basis of these instruments, they approved the terms of reference for the Physical Planning and Management of the San Miguel and Putumayo River Basins which contains an action proposal aimed at sustainable development of the border region covering part of the Department of Putumayo in Colombia and the Province of Sucumbíos and part of the Province of Napo in Ecuador (see Map 2).
This region has an area of 47,307 km2, of which 11,049 km2 (23%) is in Colombia and 36,258 km2 (77%) is in Ecuador. The regional population is estimated at 332,000, for a population density of 7.0 inhabitants per km2. The indigenous population exceeds 43,000.
In March 1979, the Colombian-Peruvian Treaty on Amazonian Cooperation was signed. Article I of this Treaty establishes its purpose "To accord the utmost priority and dynamism to a policy of Amazonian cooperation aimed at creating the forms and mechanisms that are best suited to the singular needs posed by the integral development of their respective territories in Amazonia and thereby ensuring full incorporation of these territories into their national economies." On August 26, 1987, the foreign ministers of the two countries signed a joint communique adopting an action program which focused on Amazonian cooperation. The first step was to convene the Joint Commission on Amazonian Cooperation, to which they assigned the preparation of the Plan for Integral Development of the Putumayo River Basin.
The plan covers an area of 160,500 km2, about equally divided between the countries. It has an estimated population of 96,300, for a population density of 0.6 inhabitants per km2. The indigenous population is approximately 22,620. The Colombian area is in the watersheds of the Putumayo (left bank) and Caquetá (right bank) rivers and the area of the Amazonian Trapezoid. It is located in the Departments of Putumayo and Amazonas. In Peru, the area covers the corridor between the Napo and Amazon rivers (left bank) and the Putumayo River (right bank), and extends to Estirón on the Yavarí River, in the extreme northern part of the Loreto (formerly Amazonas) Region. It covers parts of the provinces of Maynas and Ramón Castilla (see Map 3).
REPUBLIC OF COLOMBIA-REPUBLIC OF ECUADOR
REPUBLIC OF COLOMBIA-REPUBLIC OF PERU
On March 12, 1981, the two countries signed the Agreement on Amazonian Cooperation, which stipulates that "the contracting countries decide to undertake dynamic cooperation to conduct joint activities and exchange national experiences in the fields of regional development and scientific and technological research adapted to the Amazon region, with a vision to achieve the harmonious development of their respective Amazonian territories, for the benefit of their nations and with adequate preservation of the ecology area." At the first meeting of the Joint Commission of the Colombian-Brazilian Agreement on Amazonian Cooperation (Leticia, 1987), the countries approved the preparation of the Colombian-Brazilian Model Plan for the Integrated Development of the Border Communities in the Tabatinga-Apaporis Axis.
The area covered by the plan encompasses close to 28,285 km2, of which 9,635 are in Colombia and 18,650 in Brazil. The Colombian portion is in the far southeastern edge of the country, in the Amazonian Trapezoid, and belongs jurisdictionally to the departments of Amazonas and Vaupés. The Brazilian portion is under the jurisdiction of the State of Amazonas (see Map 4). In 1990, the area covered by the plan had a population of 23,736 in Brazil and 21,845 in Colombia. Leticia (Colombia) and Tabatinga (Brazil) make up a single urban area and constitute the demographic and economic center of the region. The indigenous population is 40% of the total, or 18,200.
On October 16, 1979, these two countries signed the Cooperation and Friendship Treaty, which establishes that with respect to the Amazon region, "both parties give the highest priority to the commitments that bind them in this region" and expresses their interest in coordinating bilateral activities. In July 1987, the presidents of Brazil and Peru signed the Declaration of Rio Branco and the Puerto Maldonado Action Program, and established the Joint Brazilian-Peruvian Commission on Amazonian Cooperation to carry out studies of common interest. At the first meeting of the Joint Commission (Rio Branco, Brazil, 1988), it was decided to implement the Integrated Development Program for the Peruvian-Brazilian Border Communities (Iñapari and Assis-Brazil).
The total area covered by this program comes to almost 10,320 km2, of which 3,900 is in Brazil and 6,420 in Peru. The Brazilian area includes the entire municipal district of Assis-Brazil (in the southeast of the State of Acre). The Peruvian area is in the Inka Region, Department of Madre de Dios, Tahuamani Province (see Map 5). The population comes to 10,200 (estimate for 1990), distributed almost equally between the two areas and is mainly rural, with many indigenous communities.
FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF BRAZIL-REPUBLIC OF COLOMBIA OAS GENERAL SECRETARIAT PLURINATIONAL PROJECT OF AMAZONIAN COOPERATION
FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF BRAZIL-REPUBLIC OF PERU
REPUBLIC OF BOLIVIA-FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF BRAZIL
On August 2, 1988, the presidents of Bolivia and Brazil issued a declaration in which they stressed the need for constant attention to environmental issues in the Amazon region. A Joint Action Program was approved, under the Subcommittee on Border Cooperation of the Permanent Joint Coordinating Commission, calling for binational model plans for the integrated development of border communities. They decided to initiate these plans in the following micro-regions: Brasiléia-Cobija; Guajaramirim-Guayaramerín; and Costa Marques and the San Joaquím, San Ramón and Magdalena Triangle, all in Amazonia (see Map 6).