State forests for sustainable production consolidate new model for Brazilian Amazon
Tropical rain forest, Acre State, Brazil.
Rio Branco, Brazil - The creation of new conservation areas in Brazil's Southwest Amazon Ecoregion are being celebrated today by WWF and the international community present at the 5th World Parks Congress underway in Durban, South Africa.
The creation of the 695,000-ha Chandless State Park and three state forests for sustainable production totaling another 482,000 ha was announced last Thursday by Acre state governor Jorge Viana, in front of over 100 journalists visiting the Seringal Cachoeira community managed FSC-certified forest in Xapuri, as part of the programme of the I International Amazon Environmental Journalism Meeting.
These decrees, which were signed by Jorge Viana last Friday to celebrate Amazon Day, are a significant milestone for Acre's Sustainable Programme, developed in partnership with WWF-Brazil.
During the signing event, which took place in the Forest People's House, the governor together with WWF-Brazil's Amazon Programme coordinator, Luís Meneses, FSC-Brazil's president of the board, Garo Batmanian, and representatives from the Brazilian Ministry for the Environment planted tree species which are representative of the Acrean forests: mahogany, cedar, and ipê (a building timber).
"The state forests establish a new policy for public lands meant for sustainable production. One cannot accept that only one person should own large areas which are the heritage of the Brazilian people. Public forests allow the access of private capital to forest products in a sustainable way while ensuring the local society's access to the benefits of such areas by means of the funds raised with the concessions," explained Luis Meneses.
"The mahogany state forest will replicate the sustainable management system developed in the 1000-ha forest unit belonging to Acre Brasil Verde/AFG Neto (a private company) which harbours the pilot programme carried out by WWF in partnership with Imazon and the state government," he added.
Located in the diversity center of the bamboo forests from the South Amazon ecoregion, the Chandless State Park "is one of the last wildlife havens in Acre and a priority region for nature conservation", said Luis Meneses, pointing out that this region has been plundered by loggers and fishermen and that it was identified as a priority region for the
creation of a strict use protected area, according to both the state Ecological Economic Zoning (Acre's land use plan) and the Amazon Protected Areas Programme, ARPA (both in partnership with WWF). With the creation of the park, this area is now placed under governmental protection and becomes a heritage for the Brazilian people. The new Chandless State Park adds to other protected areas and Indian lands to create an ecological corridor in the Brazil-Peru border.
For further information:
Communications Officer, WWF-Brazil
Tel: +55 61 364 7483