A group of nine Brazilian non-governmental organizations has launched in Brazilian capital BrasÀlia a pact aimed at ending deforestation in that rainforest, which covers about half of Brazil, in about seven years. The concertedÂ effort intends to give the Brazilian Amazon forest its due value.
The goal of the National Pact for the Valorization of the Forest and for the End of the Amazon Deforestation, their organizers say, is to establish a wide-ranging commitment between different sectors of the government and the Brazilian society that enables the adoption of urgent actions to ensure the preservation of the Amazon forest.
The proposal consists of setting annual goals for progressively reducing the deforestation rate, which should reach zero by 2015.
The NGOs, including Greenpeace, estimate that yearly investments of 1 billion Brazilian reais (US$ 547.2 million) would be required, coming from national and international sources, to financially compensate those who promote reduction in deforestation, and to pay for environmental services carried out in the forest.
The participating NGOs are: WWF-Brasil, Greenpeace, The Nature Conservancy, Instituto Socioambiental, Instituto Centro de Vida, Instituto de Pesquisa Ambiental da Amazônia, Conservação Internacional, Amigos da Terra-Amazônia Brasileira e Imazon.
The Brazilian minister of the Environment, Marina Silva, and state governors Eduardo Braga, of Amazonas, Blairo Maggi, of Mato Grosso, and Waldez Góes, of Amapá, attended the event.
"This is just the start, but it is a good start, and it is something interesting. We are building a national plan with common, but differentiated responsibilities," said the minister.
By 2006, approximately 17% of the Amazon forest had already been destroyed. Besides accelerating the reduction in biodiversity, with direct impacts in the lifestyles of millions of people who depend on the forest to survive, deforestation is also an important source of emission of gases that contribute to the greenhouse effect, which accelerates global warming.
Deforestation and burning, especially in the Amazon, have placed Brazil in the 4th position in the global ranking of polluter countries.