$215 million fund for Amazon conservation in Brazil
Brazil’s government, the World Wildlife Fund and various partners are going to establish a $215 million fund for conservation of protected jungle in the Amazon rainforest.
The fund, which seeks to ensure conservation of over 90 protected areas in the Amazon, comes as renewed developmental pressures mount in the region, resulting last year in an uptick in deforestation figures after years of record lows.
Under the terms of the agreement, partners in the fund will make annual contributions to help Brazil meet financing needs for the protected lands. Money from the fund would be used for a range of basic conservation measures, including fences and signs to delineate protected areas and to pay for vehicles used to patrol them.
Brazil’s government through 2012 made large inroads against deforestation, largely through strict environmental enforcement and financial measures that blocked credit for companies and individuals caught doing business with loggers, ranchers, farmers or others known to exploit illegally cleared land. In recent years, however, the government has made changes to environmental agencies and regulations that critics say make it easier for would-be developers to target protected areas.
Together, the forest zones targeted by the fund are known as the Amazon Region Protected Areas, or ARPA, a program established in 2002 to coordinate financing and conservation strategy in the region.
Whereas previous financing for the effort relied on cumulative fundraising efforts, partners this time agreed to an all-or-nothing approach, borrowed from private-sector financing practices, to build momentum toward a target total. The $215 million is the amount calculated as necessary to help the Brazilian government, over the 25 years, become self-sufficient in terms of financing the rainforest areas.