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IIS and Ministry of the Environment launch project for biodiversity conservation and rural landscapes in private areas

The International Institute for Sustainability (IIS) and the Ministry of the Environment (MMA), sponsored by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and support of the UN Environment, launched on Tuesday (11) at Windsor Plaza, in Brasilia, the Project GEF Private Areas – Conserving biodiversity and rural landscapes.

The project aims to encourage the conservation of biodiversity and the provision of ecosystem services in private areas also aims to contribute to the achievement of some Aichi Biodiversity Targets. It starts from three main approaches: implementation of pilot areas in the Atlantic Forest and in the Cerrado; establishment of agreements with companies in the forestry sector (paper and pulp) and improvement of public capacities.

Bernardo Strassburg, director of IIS, officially introduced the project, which was received with enthusiasm. For Fernando Lyrio, Secretary of Biodiversity of the Ministry of the Environment, the project – despite working with some specific cases – has a very significant multiplier power. “And that’s what we want, to have an effect that shows everyone that we have the possibility to conserve and develop. The project represents much of the beliefs I have about environmental conservation”, he said.

Rodrigo Martins Vieira, general coordinator of the Department of Conservation of Ecosystems of MMA, explains that the issue of conservation in private areas is related to the economy of the producer. “The private area does have to serve as a form of development – and we want it to be sustainable. So we have to see how we can go to the producer who owns this possession in a way to convince him and encourage him to act so that from its conservation it also stops its economic development”.

Viera also points out that the project is the result of several wishes that society and the environmental area have – to conserve private areas. “We always attack the conservation of the governmental, public area, but we do not attack with the same emphasis the private areas. The project comes to demonstrate that we have looked more and more at this. ”

Aid with environmental liabilities

Representative of the Environment Department of Alto Paraíso de Goiás (GO), Surya Mendes was also present at the presentation and spoke about the difficulties that often have to deal with environmental liabilities and how the project will help in this point.

“Private areas have been intensifying development and leave a huge environmental liability for us to manage this. Private properties have as their primary purpose the financial profit and I see that there is a difficulty in understanding preservation as a form of profit as well. So the project has helped in this understanding and a continuity of this work”, he said.

The same opinion is shared by Flávio Valente, manager of the Forest Service of INEA. “We receive the project with great excitement, because the biggest challenge we have today in the conservation of private areas is precisely the recovery of environmental liabilities, and the project comes to remedy this,” he said.

The project will last for 60 months (its technical termination is planned for April 2023).