The Oyapock River Council, a consultative body for local cooperation between French Guiana and the Brazilian state of Amapá

April 2024

The Oyapock River Council, a consultative body for local cooperation between French Guiana and the Brazilian state of Amapá

Created by a declaration of intent signed on December 14th, 2012, between France and Brazil, the Oyapock River Council (CDF) is a joint consultative body that brings together institutional and civil society stakeholders from the Oyapock basin, the river that forms the binational border between French Guiana and the Brazilian state of Amapá, twice a year.

The French delegation is led by the sub-prefect of Saint-Georges, while the Brazilian delegation is led by the Secretary of State for International Relations and Foreign Trade of Amapá.

The River Council aims to meet the day-to-day needs of people living along the river in the communes of Camopi, Saint-Georges and Ouanary on the French side, and Oiapoque on the Brazilian side. It has three main objectives
- to discuss initiatives to promote the harmonious development of the cross-border area
- to facilitate dialogue between local civil societies and local and regional governments
- to promote respect for human dignity through prevention and awareness-raising initiatives.

The history of settlement in this region shows that the river is a central thoroughfare for local residents, whether they are shopping, taking part in sporting and cultural events or visiting their families. Today, the institutionalisation of cross-border cooperation offers useful responses to local development issues and to improving the living conditions of the 35,000 or so inhabitants of the border region. Waste management, healthcare, and the development of tourism are all issues common to both sides of the border that require binational solutions.

But the formalisation of trade between French Guiana and Amapá is hampered by the different regulations on each side, as Brazil is not part of the European area. This issue represents the main challenge for the 6 thematic working groups of the River Council: education, economy, health, environment, Amerindian populations of the river, and sport, youth and citizenship.
The 6th edition was held last March, at the end of which 7 proposals were formulated. These include the organisation of joint preventive health actions, economic development and joint waste management in the border living area. These proposals will be submitted to the next joint cross-border commission (CMT), scheduled to take place in Macapá in July.

Article written by: Priscilla Thébaux, cross-border cooperation officer, Saint-Georges sub-prefecture, priscilla.thebaux(at)guyane.gouv(dot)fr
More info

Back to list