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Environmental Treaties and Resource Indicators (ENTRI) -- Full Text

Summary of the "Treaty for Amazonian Co-operation" from the UNEP Register of International Treaties and Other Agreements in the Field of the Environment

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Brasilia, 3 July 1978

    The Republics of Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia Ecuador, 
Guyana, Peru, Suriname and Venezuela,

    Conscious of the importance of each one of the 
Parties of their respective Amazonian regions as an 
integral part of their respective territories,

    Inspired by the common aim of pooling the efforts 
being made, both within their respective territories as 
well as among themselves, to promote the harmonious 
development of the Amazon region, to permit an equitable 
distribution of the benefits of said development among 
the Contracting Parties so as to raise the standard of 
living of their peoples and so as to achieve total 
incorporation of their Amazonian territories into their 
respective national economies,

    Conscious of the usefulness of sharing national 
experience in matters pertaining to the promotion of 
regional development,

    Considering that, so as to achieve overall 
development of their respective Amazonian territories, 
it is necessary to maintain a balance between economic 
growth and conservation of the environment,

    Conscious that both socio-economic development as 
well as conservation of the environment are 
responsibilities inherent in the sovereignty of each 
State, and that co-operation among the Contracting 
Parties shall facilitate fulfillment of these 
responsibilities, by continuing and expanding the joint 
efforts being made for the ecological conservation of 
the Amazon region,

    Confident that co-operation among the Latin American 
nations, on specific matters which they have in common 
shall contribute to progress on the road towards the 
integration and solidarity of all Latin America,

    Convinced that this Treaty represents the beginning 
of a process of co-operation which shall benefit their 
respective countries and the Amazon region as a whole,

Resolve to sign the following Treaty:

Article I

    The Contracting Parties agree to undertake joint 
actions and efforts to promote the harmonious 
development of their respective Amazonian territories in 
such a way that these joint actions produce equitable 
and mutually beneficial results and achieve also the 
preservation of the environment, and the conservation 
and rational utilization of the natural resources of 
these territories .

    Paragraph: To this end, they would exchange 
information and prepare operational agreements and 
understandings as well as the pertinent legal 
instruments which will permit the aims of the present 
Treaty to be attained.

Article II

    This Treaty shall be in force in the territories of 
the Contracting Parties in the Amazonian Basin as well 
as in any territory of a Contracting Party which, by 
virtue of its geographical, ecological or economic 
characteristics is considered closely connected with 
that Basin.

Article III

    In accordance with and without prejudice to the 
rights granted by unilateral acts, to the provisions of 
bilateral treaties among the Parties and to the 
principles and rules of International Law, the 
Contracting Parties mutually guarantee on a reciprocal 
basis that there shall be complete freedom of commercial 
navigation on the Amazon and other international 
Amazonian rivers, observing the fiscal and police 
regulations in force now or in the future within the 
territory of each. Such regulations should, insofar as 
possible, be uniform and favour said navigation and 

    Paragraph: This article shall not apply to cabotage 

Article  IV

The Contracting Parties declare that the exclusive use 
and utilization of natural resources within their 
respective territories is a right inherent in the 
sovereignty of each state and that the exercise of this 
right shall not be subject to any restrictions other 
than those arising from International Law.

Article V

    Taking account of the importance and multiplicity of 
the functions which the Amazonian rivers have in the 
process of economic and social development of the 
region, the Contracting Parties shall make efforts aimed 
at achieving rational utilization of the hydro 

Article VI

    In order to enable the Amazonian rivers to become an 
effective communication link among the Contracting 
Parties and with the Atlantic Ocean, the riparian states 
interested in any specific problem affecting free and 
unimpeded navigation shall, as circumstances may 
warrant, undertake national, bilateral or multilateral 
measures aimed at improving and making the said rivers 

    Paragraph: For this purpose they shall carry out 
studies into the means for eliminating physical 
obstacles to the said navigation as well as the economic 
and financial implications so as to put into effect the 
most appropriate operational measures.

Article VII

    Taking into account the need for the exploitation of 
the flora and fauna of the Amazon region to be 
rationally planned so as to maintain the ecological 
balance within the region and preserve the species, the 
Contracting Parties decide

a) Promote scientific research and exchange information 
and technical personnel among the competent agencies 
within the respective countries so as to increase their 
knowledge of the flora and fauna of their Amazon 
territories and prevent and control diseases in said 

b) Establish a regular system for the proper exchange of 
information on the convervationist measures adopted or 
to be adopted by each State in its Amazonian 
territories; these shall be the subject of an annual 
report to be presented by each country.

Article VIII

    The Contracting Parties decide to promote 
coordination of the present health services in their 
respective Amazonian territories and to take other 
appropriate measures to improve the sanitary conditions 
in the region and perfect methods for preventing and 
combating epidemics.

Article IX

    The Contracting Parties agree to establish close co-
operation in the fields of scientific and technological 
research, for the purpose of creating more suitable 
conditions for the acceleration of the economic and 
social development of the region.

    Paragraph One: For the purposes of this Treaty, the 
technical and scientific co-operation among the 
Contracting Parties may be as follows:

a) Joint or co-ordinated implementation of research and 
development programmes;

b) Creation and operation of research institutions or 
centres for improvement and experimental production;

c) Organization of seminars and conferences, exchange of 
information and documentation, and organization of means 
for their dissemination.

    Paragraph Two: The Contracting Parties may, 
whensoever they deem it necessary and convenient, 
request the participation of international agencies in 
the execution of studies; programmes and projects 
resulting from the forms of technical and scientific co-
operations defined in Paragraph One of this Article.

Article X

    The Contracting Parties agree on the advisability of 
creating a suitable physical infrastructure among their 
respective countries, especially in relation to 
transportation and communications. They therefore 
undertake to study the most harmonious ways of 
establishing or improving road, river, air and 
telecommunication links bearing in mind the plans and 
programmes of each country aimed at attaining the 
priority goal of fully incorporating those respective 
Amazonian territories into their respective national 

Article XI

    In order to increase the rational utilisation of the 
human and natural resources of their respective 
Amazonian territories, the Contracting Parties agree to 
encourage joint studies and measures aimed at promoting 
the economic and social development of said territories 
and generating complementary methods for reinforcing the 
actions envisaged in the national plans of their 
respective territories

Article XII

    The Contracting Parties recognise the benefit to be 
derived by developing, under equitable and mutually 
beneficial conditions, retail trade of products for 
local consumption among the respective Amazonian border 
populations, by means of suitable bilateral or 
multilateral agreements.

Article XIII

    The Contracting Parties shall co-operate to increase 
the flow of tourists, both national and from third 
countries, in their respective Amazonian territories, 
without prejudice to national regulations for the 
protection of indigenous cultures and natural resources.

Article XIV

    The Contracting Parties shall co-operate in ensuring 
that measures adopted for the conservation of 
ethnological, and archeological wealth of the Amazon 
region are effective.

Article XV

    The Contracting Parties shall seek to maintain a 
permanent exchange of information and co-operation among 
themselves and with the agencies for Latin American co-
operation in the areas pertaining to matters covered by 
this Treaty.

Article XVI

    The decisions and commitments adopted by the 
Contracting Parties under this Treaty shall not be to 
the detriment of projects and undertakings executed 
within their respective territories, according to 
International Law and fair practice between neighbouring 
and friendly countries.

Article XVII

    The Contracting Parties shall present initiatives 
for undertaking studies for the elaboration of 
programmes of common interest for developing their 
Amazonian territories and in general terms provide for 
the fulfillment of the actions contemplated in the 
present Treaty.

    Paragraph: The Contracting Parties agree to give 
special attention to the consideration of initiatives 
presented by the least developed countries which require 
joint action and efforts by the Contracting Parties.

Article XVIII

    Nothing contained in this Treaty shall in any way 
limit the rights of the Contracting Parties to conclude 
bilateral or multilateral agreements on specific or 
generic matters, provided that these are not contrary to 
the achievement of the common aims for co-operation in 
the Amazonian region stated in this instrument.

Article XIX

    Neither the signing of this Treaty nor its execution 
shall have any effect on any other international 
treaties in force between the Parties nor on any 
differences with regard to limits or territorial rights 
which may exist between the Parties nor shall the 
signing or implementation of this Treaty be interpreted 
or invoked to imply acceptance or renunciation, 
affirmation or modification, direct or indirect, express 
or tacit, or the position or interpretation that each 
Contracting Party may hold on these matters.

Article XX

    Notwithstanding the fact that more adequate 
frequency for meetings can be established at a later 
date, the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the 
Contracting Parties shall convene meetings when deemed 
opportune or advisable, in order to establish the basic 
guidelines for common policies for assessing and 
evaluating the general development or the process of 
Amazonian co-operation and for taking decisions designed 
to carry out the aims set out in this document.

    Paragraph One: Meetings of Foreign Affairs Ministers 
shall be convened at the request of any of the 
Contracting Parties, provided that the request has the 
support of no fewer than four Member States.

    Paragraph Two: The first meeting of Foreign Affairs 
Ministers shall be held within a period of two years 
following the date of entry into force of this Treaty. 
The venue and date of the first meeting shall be 
established by agreement among the Ministries of Foreign 
Affairs of the Contracting Parties.

    Paragraph Three: Designation of the host country for 
the meetings shall be by rotation and in alphabetical 

Article XXI

    The Amazonian Co-operation Council comprising of top 
level diplomatic representatives shall meet once a year. 
Its duties shall be as follows:

1. To ensure that the aims and objectives of the Treaty 
are complied with.

2. To be responsible for carrying out the decisions 
taken at meetings of Foreign Affairs Ministers.

3. To recommend to the Parties the advisability and the 
appropriateness of convening meetings of Foreign Affairs 
Ministers and of drawing-up the corresponding Agenda.

4. To take under consideration initiatives and plans 
presented by the Parties as well as to adopt decisions 
for undertaking bilateral or multilateral studies and 
plans, the execution of which as the case may be, shall 
be the duty of the Permanent National Commissions.

5. To evaluate the implementation of plans of bilateral 
or multilateral interest.

6. To draw-up the Rules and Regulations for its proper 

    Paragraph One: The Council shall hold special 
meetings through the initiative of any of the 
Contracting Parties with the support of the majority of 
the rest.

    Paragraph Two: The venue of regular meetings shall 
be rotated in alphabetical order among the Contracting 

Article XXII

    The functions of the Secretariat shall be performed 
pro tempore by the Contracting Party in whose territory 
the next regular meeting of the Amazonian Co-operation 
Council is scheduled to be held.

    Paragraph Three: The pro tempore Secretariat shall 
send the pertinent documentation to the Parties.

Article XXIII

    The Contracting Parties shall create Permanent 
National Commissions charged with enforcing in their 
respective territories the provisions set out in this 
Treaty, as well as carrying out the decisions taken at 
meetings of Foreign Affairs Ministers and by the 
Amazonian Co-operation Council, without jeopardizing 
other tasks assigned them by the State.

Article XXIV

    Whenever necessary, the Contracting Parties may set 
up special Commissions to study specific problems or 
matters related to the aims of this Treaty.

Article XV

    Decisions at meetings held in accordance with 
Articles XX and XXI shall always require the unanimous 
vote of the Member Countries of this Treaty. Decisions 
made at meetings held in accordance with Article XXIV 
shall always require the unanimous vote of the 
participating countries.

Article XXVI

    The Contracting Parties agree that the present 
Treaty shall not be susceptible to interpretative 
reservation or statements.

Article XXVII

    This Treaty shall remain in force for an unlimited 
period of time, and shall not be open to adherence.

Article XXVIII

    This Treaty shall be ratified by all the Contracting 
Parties and the instruments of ratification shall be 
deposited with the Government of the Federative Republic 
of Brazil.

    Paragraph One: This Treaty shall become effective 
thirty days after the last instrument of ratification 
has been deposited by the Contracting Parties.

    Paragraph Two: The intention to denounce this Treaty 
shall be communicated by a Contracting Party to the 
remaining Contracting Parties at least ninety days prior 
to formal delivery of the instrument of denunciation to 
the Government of the Federative Republic of Brazil. 
This Treaty shall cease to have effect for the 
Contracting Party denouncing it one year after the 
denunciation has been formalized.

    Paragraph Three: This Treaty shall be drawn up in 
English, Dutch, Portuguese and Spanish, all having equal 

    In witness whereof the undersigned Ministers of 
Foreign Affairs have signed the present Treaty.

    Executed in the city of Brasilia, on July 3, 1978, 
to be deposited in the archives of the Ministry of 
Foreign Affairs of Brazil which shall provide the other 
signatory countries with true copies.