From: WWF
Published October 18, 2007 12:24 PM

Pact to end deforestation launched in the Amazon

Brasilia, Brazil – WWF-Brazil joined eight other Brazilian non-governmental organizations to launch a pact to reduce deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon to zero by 2015.

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The pact proposes to reduce deforestation by adopting a system of reduction targets through economic mechanisms, mainly based on the payment for environmental services. It also aims to establish a wide-ranging commitment between different sectors of the government and the Brazilian society to conserve the Amazon.

“This is a unique initiative to ensure Amazon rainforest conservation, given its crucial importance in maintaining biodiversity and the global climate balance, as well as preserving the way of life of millions of people who rely on the forest to survive,” said Denise Hamú, CEO of WWF-Brazil.

Scientists estimate that approximately 17% of the Brazilian Amazon rainforest has already been destroyed. High deforestation rates are leading to an accelerated depletion of biodiversity and are a significant source of greenhouse gas emissions, contributing to increasing global warming.

The new pact is pushing for a 25 per cent deforestation rate drop in the first year compared to the 1,400,000 hectares of forest lost in 2005-2006, and an overall reduction in deforestation of 6,873,780 hectares in seven years.

It is estimated that 1 billion Brazilian reais (US$547.2 million) would be required from national and international sources to financially compensate those who promote reduction in deforestation, and to pay for environmental services carried out by the forest.

Economic incentives will be directed to strengthen forest governance, including monitoring, control and inspection, and will be used to create and implement more protected areas and indigenous lands.

Brazil’s Environment Minister, Marina Silva, who attended the launch of the pact in Brazil's National Congress, committed the federal government's support for the proposal. She was joined in that support by the governments of four Amazonian states, as well as parliamentarians from different regions of Brazil.

“Only through the mobilization of state and federal governments, the private sector and environmental NGOs can we can reach significant results for the conservation and promotion of sustainable development in the Amazon,” Hamú said.

END NOTES:

• The nine organizations involved in development of the pact include: Conservation International-Brazil, Friends of the Earth-Brazil, Greenpeace, Instituto Centro de Vida, Instituto do Homem e Meio Ambiente da Amazônia, Instituto de Pesquisa Ambiental da Amazonia, Instituto Socioambiental, The Nature Conservancy and WWF-Brazil.

For further information:
Bruno Taitson, Communications Officer
WWF-Brazil
Tel: + 55 61 3364 7400
E-mail: bruno@wwf.org.br

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