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The TDPS region is characterized by overlapping cultural and economic systems in which a vast agrarian subsistence economy exists side by side with agricultural sectors directed at regional and national markets and with a mining industry looking abroad. The impact on natural resources has varied, but in every case their consumption and depletion are not included in the costs of production. The ancestral values based on respect for "Mother Earth" have largely died out, and nature is perceived as an inexhaustible fount of resources and a waste dump. The widespread poverty and low levels of education prevent the population from developing an awareness of the limits on their resources, and only in the wake of major natural catastrophes such as droughts and floods have some sectors of the society begun to think about the cause-and-effect relationship between the use and management of natural resources and those catastrophes.

A change in behavior toward the natural environment, especially on the part of those sectors causing it the most harm (mining, mining-based industry, urban concentration) requires a change in attitude based on an understanding of, and respect for, the region's physical and biological processes, its natural and cultural-anthropological values, and the right of its indigenous peoples to emerge from poverty by receiving a growing share of the return on the development of its resources. This change in outlook requires more effective action by the state, with a comprehensive policy including the creation and enforcement of legal, institutional and fiscal mechanisms and economic incentives and resources designed to further sustainable development in the region. Real participation by the local communities in administering the areas within their jurisdiction is also needed.

The present environmental assessment is an important step toward those ends.

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The document summarizes the objectives, methodological approach, and principal conclusions and recommendations of the binational plans, programs, and projects being executed by the Amazonian countries with the cooperation of the General Secretariat of the OAS.

The general purpose of the border plans and programs is to create conditions for sustainable development. The plans also seek to explore the development potential of the border areas in terms of population, ecosystems, and natural resources, with a view to incorporating these areas into the countries' economies. They are intended not only to deal with the specific problems of each border area, but also to serve as models for extending environmentally sound development planning to other parts of the Amazon region.

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In April of 1988, the Presidents of Colombia and Peru met in the town of San Antonio, on the Amazon River, and signed a Joint Declaration agreeing to a Bilateral Action Plan to carry out the Plan for the Integral Development of the Putumayo River Basin, to be executed within the framework of the Joint Committee for the Colombian-Peruvian Amazon Cooperation Treaty. Their ministries of foreign affairs were asked to jointly negotiate financial support from international organizations, especially the Organization of American States.  The first meeting of the Joint Committee took place in August 1988 in Leticia, Colombia, capital of Amazonas Department. In this meeting, the terms of reference for the drafting of the Plan for the Integral Development of the Putumayo River Basin (PPCP) were approved.

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After seven years of field work it is now possible to prepare this synthesis of OAS experience with natural hazards. The material comes with a broad set of objectives, a reflection of the breadth of the issues involved in hazard mitigation. At the policy level, it is hoped that national planning ministries, development agencies, and international financing institutions will be encouraged to systematically include analyses of natural hazards in their economic development programs.

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This document is the result of nearly two years of work by the staff of the Program of Regional Development, Argentine coworkers, and several international consultants (Appendix A).  Every effort has been made to make the content and prose applicable to the needs of project directors and field staff working in the planning of river basin development.  Consequently, scientific and specialized terminology have been kept to a minimum and the recommendations have been made in full consideration of the realities of developing countries.  The document has been purposefully kept short to give it the character of a guidebook rather than that of an exhaustive treatise on the subject of environment and development.

in those training centers and institutions that relate to development planning.

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This assessment focused on the industrial sector and indicated that the main environmental changes with the  possible implementation of FTAA could include water contamination and detriment in air quality due to outdoor air pollution. However, the assessment highlights that those industries that could affect air quality in Brazil use environmentally friendly technologies in order to meet sustainability and market access requirements of the export markets. Additionally, this assessment examines the Brazilian legal-institutional frameworks and the internalization of environmental cost by industry, concluding that these costs do not affect competitiveness. Finally, this assessment includes some recommendations for regulating entities in terms of promoting efficiency and competitiveness of the Brazilian industrial sector.

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Reviewing 20 years of experience with integrated regional development planning is a humbling exercise. Mistakes and failed plans stand out clearly with the perspective of time, but so do the occasional successfully implemented projects that flowed from the plans. Less obvious but perhaps equally satisfying are the mistakes avoided because of the plans. DRD draws here exclusively on its own field experience in Latin America, leaving it to other technical assistance agencies to catalog theirs. Accordingly, the emphasis in this book is on the development of natural resources, energy, infrastructure, agriculture, industry, human settlements, and social services. In these accounts, we believe, are information and ideas of use to developing-country governments from the local to the national levels, sectoral agencies, river basin authorities, regional development corporations, other technical assistance groups, and - most of all - field study managers.

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Minimum Conflict: Guidelines for Planning the Use of American Humid Tropic Environments represents the Phase I report of the OAS/UNEP/Government of Peru sponsored project: "Case Study of Environmental Management: Integrated Development of An Area in the Humid Tropics - The Selva Central of Peru." To a large degree this effort is a follow-up of the OAS/UNEP/Government of Argentina study of the Upper Bermejo River Basin of Argentina in 1975-1977 which sought to develop a planning methodology for river basins in semiarid areas. The results of this early study were published in 1978 as a small book, Environmental Quality and River Basin Development: A Model for Integrated Analysis and Planning. Both of these studies have their basis in Resolution 61 of the 1972 United Nations Conference on the Human Environment Action Plan, which requests that research be undertaken to design practical planning methodologies for distinct categories of development activity in specific individual biomes and which would include "concern for the environment" as an integral part of development planning.

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Under the Amazon Cooperation Treaty, the governments of Colombia and Ecuador signed a cooperation agreement in 1979 to promote and oversee the two countries' bilateral activities in the Amazonian region. In 1985, both governments reaffirmed the need to encourage sectoral activities in the border region and decided to begin to draw up a binational action plan to steer regional development towards sustainable development objectives that were compatible with their fragile ecological systems. Thus, in 1986, the Physical Planning and Management Plan for the San Miguel and Putumayo River Basins (PSP) was approved and initiated.

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In concurrence with the objectives, policies and strategies specified in each country's Amazonian Development Plan, the overall PPCP goals can be summarized as follows: (a) To promote the harmonious and sustained development of the area; (b) To integrate the area with the rest of the territory by constructing roads and other transportation facilities and establishing communication links, as well as through political, cultural, social and economic inter-action; (c) To improve the population's standard of living; (d) To concentrate, in the native communities, on substantially improving the handling of territorial issues, and the provision of basic social and health services, including the conservation of areas traditionally inhabited by such communities while protecting the fundamental rights of those communities, and, in particular, their social and cultural integrity; (e) To promote research and the compilation of information on the area.

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  • Program for Development of the Peruvian-Brazilian Border Communities
    Executive Summary in English (1992)

    In accordance with the objectives, policies, and strategies contained in the development plans for the Amazon region in both countries, the general objectives for the development of the border communities are as follows: a) improvement of the living standards of the population; b) determination of the appropriate use of the areas natural resources, with a view toward sustainable development; c) binational integration of the area into the remainder of the territory of the two countries, through the efficient use of their natural resources and the fostering of effective occupation of the border areas.

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The Source Book of Alternative Technologies for Freshwater Augmentation in Latin America and the Caribbean was prepared by the Unit for Sustainable Development and Environment of the General Secretariat of the Organization of American States (OAS) as part of the joint United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Water Branch and International Environmental Technology Centre (IETC) initiative to provide water resource managers and planners, especially in developing countries and in countries with economies in transition, with information on the range of technologies that have been developed and used in the various countries throughout the world.

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This document summarizes the preliminary findings and recommendations resulting from the two-year formulation phase of the Strategic Action Program for the Binational Basin of the Bermejo River.

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On May 4, 1989, the Government of Uruguay and the Inter-American Development Bank signed a technical cooperation agreement to finance a national study that would help incorporate the environmental dimension into the development process of Uruguay.

This document synthesizes the findings of the study and provides an action plan to implement the strategy, projects and programs that are based on these findings. In summary, the study established that a formal environmental policy was needed to meet the national objectives of improved quality of life for the people of Uruguay.

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