Amazon Park Gets $215 Million for Biggest Tropical Forest


SELVA-Vida Sin Fronteras:21/05/2014


Amazon Park Gets $215 Million for Biggest Tropical Forest

A group of foundations, environmental groups and private investors created a $215 million fund to protect a swath of the Amazon larger than California.

The funds will be disbursed over 25 years to support ARPA, the Amazon Region Protected Areas Program, according to a statement today. The network of protected sites is the world’s largest tropical forest national park.

Backers include the World Wildlife Fund, Inter-American Development Bank, the World Bank and Linden Trust for Conservation, said Carter Roberts, WWF’s chief executive officer. When the fund is drained, Brazil is expected to assume responsibility for protecting the region, which will eventually expand to about 150 million acres (60.7 million hectares) from 128 million acres.

“We dream of doing things at the scale of the problems we face,” Roberts said yesterday in a telephone interview. “When you look at global rates of deforestation and how it contributes to climate change, doing something at this scale matters a lot – – creating a system of parks the size of one-and-a-half Californias.”

Brazil created ARPA in 2002 after the nation pledged in 1998 to preserve at least 10 percent of its Amazon lands. Last year, the deforestation rate there increased 28 percent after declining for four straight years.

It took only “a couple of phone calls” to convince initial ARPA supporters to contribute to the the bridge fund, Roberts said.

“We borrowed a page from Wall Street — you build together the capital to fund the whole thing,” he said. “We put together a plan that would help Brazil close the gap over time. It’s all about the art of the deal and having a clear, singular vision.”


Source: Bloomberg


Amazon rainforest conservation gets $215 million boost

Aerial view of the Amazon forest next to Manaus city in northern Brazil.  EVARISTO SA/AFP/GETTY IMAGES

In a major new effort to conserve nature for generations to come, the Brazilian government, the World Wildlife Fund and other partners announced Wednesday the creation of a $215 million fund that will go towards long-term protection of 150 million acres of the Amazon rainforest.

The funding will go to support the Amazon Region Protected Areas Program, or ARPA, which comprises 15 percent of the Brazilian Amazon. In 1998, the Brazilian government pledged to triple the areas of the Amazon under legal protection, leading to the 2003 partnership between nongovernmental organizations and governmental agencies.

In the span of a decade, the ARPA program has conserved 128 million acres of rich, biodiverse rainforests — approximately one and a half times the size of California. However, the Brazilian government had reported that in 2012, deforestation in the Amazon had increased by nearly a third, reversing a decade of declining rates. Some environmentalists blamed it on the government’s recent changes to conservation law, Reuters reported.

However, those involved hope this funding initiative will ensure more progress. The $215 million will be disbursed slowly over a period of 25 years, during which time the Brazilian government will be expected to increase internal funding and assume greater responsibility for supporting conservation efforts.

“The Brazilian rainforest is at the heart of our country,” Maria Cecilia Wey de Brito, CEO of WWF in Brazil, said in a press release. “It is what defines us. The Brazilian government’s leadership in helping to create and maintain this fund provides us with more confidence than ever that we can slow the arc of deforestation in our rainforest and create a model for large-scale conservation worldwide.”

In addition to the WWF, partners supporting the program include the German government, the Inter-American Development Bank, the Global Environment Facility, the World Bank and a number of private foundations.

“The explosion in demand for natural resources has made our parks and world heritage sites vulnerable,” Carter Roberts, president and CEO of WWF, said in a press release. “So we convened leading financial thinkers and philanthropic partners to create a plan for a first-of-its-kind bridge fund to ensure ARPA’s inspiring success story can be told forever.”




Editorial: SELVA-Vida Sin Fronteras

Editorial Committee

David Dunham

Arno Ambrosius

Gustavo López Ospina

Mariana Almeida

Pieter Jan Brouwer

Assistant: Emilia Romero

SELVA Vida Sin Fronteras acknowledges Kevin Schafer’s important contribution towards protecting the highly endangered Amazon pink fresh water dolphin. Title photographs of our “The Amazon Pink Dolphin’s Voice” were taken by Mr. Schafer. 

~ by FSVSF Admin on 21 May, 2014.

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