Corporate Social Responsibility writer for Justmeans, Antonio Pasolini is a journalist based in Brazil who writes about alternative energy, green living and sustainability. He also edits Energyrefuge.com, a top web destination for news and comment on renewable energy and Elpis.org, a recycled paper bag/magazine distributed from health food stores in London, formerly his hometown for over a decade....
Officials Discuss Socially Responsible Program to Protect the Amazon at COP11
Within the framework of the UN Conference on Biological Diversity (COP11), which is taking place this week in India, officials from several countries and organizations got together to discuss the future of the Amazon Region Protected Areas Programme, known as ARPA for Life.
The program was launched earlier this year during the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20). Its objective is to create public-private partnerships to benefit families living in the area, contribute to global climate stabilization, maintain water quality, and protect biodiversity. Phase one of the program has already created 24 million hectares of the 60 million hectare goal, and generated US$ 80 million in support of the consolidation of 64 areas in the Amazon region.
"It is impossible for this planet to advance, to reduce and eradicate poverty, to have urban development, to take care of the oceans, to develop new economic models, without biodiversity being at the center of this political debate at the global, regional, national and local levels," said Brazilian environment minister Izabella Teixeira.
During the meeting several panelists reported that the ARPA for Life program preserves an area larger than Germany, or equivalent to the U.S. National Parks System. "I don't think there's any place on the planet that is more important for biodiversity preservation than the Amazon," said Lasse Gustavsson, Executive Director for Conservation for WWF International.
During August the Amazon region saw a spike in deforestation, as revealed by satellite imagery released by Brazil's National Space Research Institute (INPE). About 522 sq km (201 sq miles) of Amazon rainforest was cleared in the period, an increase of 220 percent on the same period in 2011.