Brazil's Amazontech Debates Amazon's Self-Sustainability

Amazontech display Technological innovation, science in general and entrepreneurial initiatives turned to the Amazon region should be among the highlights of the Amazontech 2008, to take place in São Luís, in Maranhão state, starting November 25 and ending on Saturday, November 29, at the Pedro Neiva de Santana convention center.

The event, at its sixth edition, opens space for the generation of sustainable business, exchange of scientific and technical knowledge and diffusion of information that may guarantee self-sustainability of the region.

The Access to Innovation and Technology manager at the National Sebrae, Paulo Alvim, pointed out that Amazontech is one of the opportunities for diffusion of adequate technology to the Amazon region, within the logic of sustainable development.

"The event has been evolving in the line of national and international partnerships and expanding the space for discussion and visibility of what is being done in technology and innovation for the region," he pointed out.

In this year's edition, the expectation is for the audience to reach 30,000 people from several states in the country. Other highlights are the business roundtables that already count on the presence of 100 companies from the Amazon.

These companies offer herbal medication, handicraft, textile products, honey and honey products, as well as wooden products in the areas of sustainable management. Eight anchor companies, interested in the purchase of these products, are also confirmed, among them organizations from Venezuela, Colombia, Mexico, Argentina, Uruguay and Spain.

The Project Roundtables should include six institutions to finance social or entrepreneurial projects capable of creating work posts and generating income for the community in the Amazon. The expectation is that up to 50 projects be financed.

Important support for the event comes from the federal universities of the Legal Amazon, which are mobilized and engaged with Amazontech. The organizers of the event also count on the presence of universities from Ecuador, Venezuela and Colombia. In the sidelines of the event, there should be a Forum of Readers of the Universities of the Amazon.

Another event in the sidelines should be the Forum of Governors of the Amazon. In this space, topics discussed should include policies for cross-border relations and business, educational and cultural exchange between the countries.

Amazontech has already contributed greatly to the debate regarding the Amazon region. The superintendent of the Sebrae in Rondônia state, Pedro Teixeira, who accompanied the previous events, pointed out that "one of the great feats was the creation of this space to bring together all institutions in the Amazon." "Since the first edition of the event, Embrapa has been presenting solutions for the region," he added.

According to him, an example of solutions is the study of forestry management and of how to work on the non-wood management, which expands opportunities in sectors like pharmaceuticals, cosmetics and food. "Standing, a tree is more profitable than lying down. With a tree standing, we can add value to the product," said Teixeira.

Another important point is that the discussions and solutions presented benefit the communities in the region and cooperates for them to work with the potentials of the area in a sustainable manner. "Since 2001 we have been managing to develop technological and intellectual institutions so that the countries included in the Amazon may work together," he says.

Participation of fostering banks in the Amazontech events also plays an important part as they are responsible for financing to producers. "Due to these resources, we currently have enterprises breeding forest animals, like alligators and turtles, for consumption in the whole country and mainly in the South or Southeast. They are being bread legally and are helping avoid the extinction of these animals. The business sector has been investing in the preservation without leaving trade aside."

Pedro Teixeira also pointed out that the debate that began in previous editions of the Amazontech caused universities in the Amazon region to offer courses to those working with the local potential. Courses like Forestry Engineering, Biotechnology, Geology, Veterinary Medicine and Biology were implemented.

Before that, the offer was restricted to Law, Business Administration and Accounting. "This generated awareness in youths and the search for education to provide tools to operate making use of the potential of the Amazon," he explained.

Sebrae

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