The Pan-Amazonian Seminar on Social Protection, to be held between March 27 and 31, 2017, in Belém (PA), will be a great meeting to promote a broader debate on social policies in the countries of the Amazon Region. Representatives from the following countries will be present: Brazil, Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guiana, Peru, Republic of Guyana, Suriname and Venezuela.
Knowing the Amazonian reality and its demands is fundamental so that social policies in the region can be improved. The diversity of the population, the various forms of organization of economic and social life and the challenges of mobility require the State to take a close look at characteristics that must be considered in the construction of public services and in guaranteeing fundamental rights, with an emphasis on social assistance.
The idea is to share experiences of successful public policies in the region to improve the understanding of territorial dynamics and its challenges of management.
The seminar is organized by the Ministry of Social and Agrarian Development (MDSA), in partnership with the World Bank and UNESCO, and with support of the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ), the Brazilian Learning Initiative for a World without Poverty (WWP), the Brazilian Navy, the State Secretariat for Social Assistance, Labor, Employment and Income of Pará and the Municipal Governments of Belém, Barcarena and Acará.
• Promote the sharing of knowledge and experiences on social protection in the Amazonian context among countries of the region.
• Acknowledge and discuss experiences of Social Protection in the Amazonian context, especially those directed to ethnic groups of traditional peoples and communities in the Amazonian countries;
• Stimulate, within the Amazon, the dialogue between governments and social movements on social protection issues in the Amazon;
• Give visibility to the Social Protection agenda and its interface with the challenges of environmental sustainability, respect for human rights, human dignity, multiculturalism, and social justice for the people of the Amazon
• Disseminate good practices in public social protection policies.
The innovation in social policies has promoted significant transformations in the access of rights of the population of the Latin American countries in the last decade, proposing new models of attention to families and individuals; implementing food access and non-contributory income transfer programs for the poorest segments; prioritizing the allocation of public basic health services, education, and social assistance in areas close to the population to ensure better well-being. The results are striking in terms of reducing extreme poverty and hunger and increasing educational levels and access to health, although models are quite different across countries.
The advance of social policies was associated with the recognition of these priority agendas by Latin American citizens and the development of solutions to finance these policies, with a relatively low impact on public budgets, compared to the results achieved in terms of reducing social inequalities and improving Welfare of the population. These positive results, however, place us in front of new challenges targeting specific population groups that yet do not have their social rights fully addressed by these social policies, such as the Amazon region and the population groups that live there - Indigenous peoples of different ethnic groups, quilombola communities and other groups of traditional peoples and communities and rural communities dispersed by many river channels of that region.
Governments that work in this region must guarantee to Amazonian peoples and communities the access to public policies that assure their human and social rights. However, many public services, whose are essential to quality of life, do not reach these populations geographically dispersed in the complex Amazonian territory, which leads to poverty, food insecurity, low schooling and violation of rights, among other problems.
Although it is possible to highlight advances in the Brazilian State, the new historical moment demands greater knowledge regarding the process of territorial transformation of the Amazon as well as demands of its peoples and communities so that they also have greater well-being guaranteed.
On the other hand, the models of social attention implemented in our countries tend to favor urban and more homogeneous spaces in comparison to the spatial, ethnic and cultural dispersion of the Amazon. Despite the interest of Amazonian communities, the range of problems to solve is large and varied, ranging from logistics and communication challenges to cultural issues, which require states to reflect and elaborate policies that do not cause social and economic disorganization to these communities.
The sharing of experiences and lessons learned among academics and public policy managers from the countries of the region, which plays a relevant role in the political effort to think public policies that guarantee the attendance and participation of the Amazon population in the development process of the region, is important for better understanding of the territorial dynamics and its management challenges.
Therefore, the Pan-Amazonian Seminar on Social Protection will seek to get closer to this reality by associating the advances of sustainable development observed in the region with the social demands of these specific and differentiated population groups that need a strengthened social protection system.
Knowing the Amazonian reality and the demands of these segments will be fundamental so that social policies can be improved and implemented throughout the region, including populations that develop ties beyond the national boundaries.
At the end of the seminar, the following products are expected to be achieved:
• Publication of an online book about the results of the Pan-Amazonian Seminar on Social Protection.
• Agreement between participating countries and institutions to hold the second meeting in 2018, hosted by another country.
• Signature of the "BELÉM CHARTER FOR SOCIAL PROTECTION IN THE AMAZON".
Phone: 55 (61) 2030-3085.