A Memorandum of Understanding signed between Brazil and New Zealand should lead to cooperation in the management, research and protection of natural protected areas New Zealand's Conservation Minister Steve Chadwick said, adding:
"Greater understanding of the conservation issues facing New Zealand and Brazil will benefit both countries and be used to positive effect on the world stage. This agreement follows other successful ones with Italy, Chile and Korea, and will see the sharing of research, knowledge and expertise and provide opportunities for greater understanding of our environmental challenges."
The agreement aims to achieve practical conservation outcomes, including research, the protection and recovery of ecosystems and endangered species, management of weeds and pests, as well as the management of tourism operators in national parks.
"Brazil is interested in how New Zealand balances commercial use with the conservation of protected areas – managing conservation values in this way is relatively new to Brazil, but something they are really committed to. This is an opportunity for New Zealand to showcase its skills and make a real contribution to another country."
A Department of Conservation (DOC) representative visited Brazil earlier this year to share information about the value protected conservation areas contribute to tourism, and later this year a delegation of Brazilian environmental officials will visit New Zealand to study how DOC works with tourism operators and manages the effect of visitors on protected areas.
"New Zealand is recognized as a world leader in many areas of conservation, particularly pest control and the recovery of threatened species, so I am delighted that we will share our experiences with Brazil. Both countries face challenges and this is a really positive agreement that allows both countries to learn from each other," she said.
Steve Chadwick, on behalf of the New Zealand Government, and Brazil's Foreign Minister Celso Amorim, on behalf of the Federative Republic of Brazil, signed the memorandum at a ceremony held at Auckland's Sky City.
Up to 300 New Zealanders aged between 18 and 30 will be able to live in Brazil for one year to work, holiday or study under a new reciprocal working holiday scheme.
"The working holiday scheme with New Zealand will be a first for Brazil, and it will further promote the important links between our two countries," New Zealand's Foreign Minister Winston Peters said.
"It will encourage young New Zealanders to include Brazil as part of their overseas travel, and it will also help to stimulate the interest of young Brazilians to live, study and work in this country."
The agreement, signed in Auckland by Peters and Amorim, will also allow 300 Brazilians aged 18 to 30 to come to New Zealand for a year to holiday, study and work.
"Brazil is a priority country for New Zealand under the government's Latin America Strategy, and the working holiday scheme is a great mechanism to boost mutual understanding between our two countries," Peters said.
"Minister Amorim last visited New Zealand as Brazil's Foreign Minister in 1994, and this new scheme demonstrates how the relationship has significantly deepened since that time."
The working holiday scheme will come in to force for New Zealanders following approval by the Brazilian legislature. Brazilians will be able to travel to New Zealand under the scheme from December this year.
Peters also announced that New Zealand is to appoint a Consul-General to São Paulo early next year to increase its diplomatic presence in Brazil.
"The appointment will help to enhance important political, economic, and trade links between our two countries," said Peters. "Brazil is an emerging economic and political superpower, and São Paulo is the economic and financial center of Brazil.
"Expanding our diplomatic presence in São Paulo will help New Zealand promote its interests in Brazil, complementing the work of our Embassy in Brasilia.
"We are seeking to boost our relationship with Brazil, and during discussions with Mr Amorim, it was agreed that our foreign ministries should meet more frequently to discuss common perspectives.
"This reflects Brazil's importance as a global player on many issues of importance to New Zealand, such as in the World Trade Organization (WTO), where Brazil is a valued ally on agricultural trade, and also on international environmental issues.
"At the same time, New Zealand business interests are growing in Brazil, particularly in the agribusiness, tourism, education, and telecommunications services sectors," said Peters.
New Zealand Trade and Enterprise has staffed an office in São Paulo since 1999, while the New Zealand's Embassy in Brasília opened in 2001.