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Decision 501 of CAN (Andean Community of Nations) defines the Border Integration Zone (ZIF- Zona de Integración Fronteriza) as the adjacent border territorial area. The ZIF Ecuador-Peru was defined by the exchange of Verbal Notes of both countries[1]. Both notes were published in the Official Gazette of the Cartagena Agreement No. 888, dated January 21, 2003. The provinces and Departments integrated under this ZIF are for Ecuador: province of El Oro and its 14 cantons; province of Loja and its 16 cantons; Amazon provinces of Zamora Chinchipe, Morona Santiago, Orellana, Pastaza, Sucumbíos y Napo and 38 cantons. For Peru: departments of Tumbes and Piura; provinces of Maynas and high Amazon from department of Loreto. Provinces of Jaén and San Ignacio from department of Cajamarca.

The ZIF includes 420 thousand km2, along 1,500 km of the border line, of which 133,464 km2 are on the Ecuadorian side corresponding to 47% of the national surface, while on the Peruvian side the surface is 287 thousand km2 that represents 22% of the total area of ​​the territory of Peru. The border area is very diverse and goes from the coastal zone of the Pacific to the tropical humid Amazon forest. The Peruvian-Ecuadorian border region presents a heterogeneity of ecosystems and a great socio-cultural wealth. It is due to its geographic, cultural, economic, social and demographic characteristics that have facilitated the integration of neighboring populations.

The "Border Region", is a subnational area from the perspective of planning and development that generally coincides with the limits of major political-administrative units and where bilateral policies can be implemented in the search for integral development with the participation of the different political, social and economic actors, be they national or from neighboring states.

The Binational Development Plan of the Peru-Ecuador Border Region[2] was already established resulting from the Comprehensive Border Integration, Development and Neighborhood Agreement, signed in Brasilia on October 26, 1998[3]. It was extended in June 2007 (validity 2009-2014) and again in 2014 until 2024 according to the diplomatic note. The Plan constitutes a state policy that promotes cooperation between both countries. The main objective is to help improving the quality of life of the population of northern and north-eastern Peru and the south and east of Ecuador, carrying out activities and promoting projects and programs that allow to economically integrate the border region and accelerate its productive and social development while minimising the negative effects of the environmental impact. The Binational Plan is articulated under four programmes: Binational Program of Social and Productive Infrastructure Projects; Ecuadorian and Peruvian National Programs of Construction and Improvement of Productive Infrastructure in Border Regions; Ecuadorian and Peruvian National Construction Programs and Improvement of Social Infrastructure and Environmental Aspects in Border Regions; and, Programs to Promote Private Investment.

A binational Fund has been also established as one of the main financial mechanisms of the Binational Plan, that focus on the evaluation, and monitoring of those projects in which it has placed financial resources and are executed by those entities, public or private, with which cooperation agreements have been signed for the respective implementation.

The main binational coordination mechanisms are[4]:

  • Presidential Encounters and Binational Cabinets: From June 2007 the Presidents from both countries met at and decided to strengthen the existing mechanisms in the bilateral sphere and the application of the Agreements of Brasilia of 1998. Since that date every year, a Presidential Meeting and Binational Cabinet is held, alternating in Peru and Ecuador. It is the largest instance of binational coordination. Heads of State Martin Vizcarra (Peru) and Lenin Moreno (Ecuador) presided on 26 October the 12th Binational Cabinet in Quito[5].
  • Neighbourhood Commission: a political instance and mechanism to promote, support and coordinate the programs, projects and activities that generate rapprochement and community of interests. It is responsible for establishing the general guidelines for bilateral cooperation, the application of the border regime and for the smooth running of the Binational Development Plan. It identifies and promotes projects and initiatives, economically and socially significant for both countries, with emphasis on the improvement of infrastructure, services and the use of shared resources. It is chaired by the Foreign Ministers of Ecuador and Peru.
  • Bilateral meetings of high-level authorities: Led by the Ministers of both countries, they review, evaluate and propose new actions of the sector to which they belong. The following meetings have been established: Security and Defense Axis and of the Social Axis.
  • Binational Technical Committees: chaired by the Foreign Ministries are made up of representatives of the institutions responsible for the issues addressed in the different areas.
  • Border Committees: border level and territorial coordination mechanism to promote and monitor the implementation of the agreements of the Border Regime, propose procedures and agile and timely solutions to the problems of the transit of people, goods and means of transport through the border crossings, ports and airports enabled. The following Committes are established:  El Oro-Tumbes, Loja-Piura and Zamora Chinchipe-Cajamarca.
  • Binational Borders Commission: with the mission of coordinating, evaluating and supervising the fulfillment of the military and police border security commitments signed between the two countries.
  • Work groups: bilateral spaces of technical-political level, which function is to promote new strategic areas of the bilateral relationship, following up on agreements established in its scope. Among those that are in force are road Integration and the telecommunications Working Groups.

As for the potential value chains to be prioritised for this border are the following ones are among the most relevant ones: Amazonian fruits, forest products, fish farming, potatoes, coffee and tourism.

 

[1] Ecuador (21136-DGAF of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Integration), Peru (5-12-M / 135 of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs)

[2] https://planbinacional.org.pe/que-es-el-plan-binacional/

[3] Acuerdo Amplio de Integración Fronteriza, Desarrollo y Vecindad, suscrito en Brasilia el 26 octubre de 1998

[4] http://planbinacional.gob.ec/mecanismos-de-coordinacion-binacional/

[5] https://andina.pe/ingles/noticia-peru-ecuador-presidents-lead-12th-binational-cabinet-730875.aspx