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Amazon Fund/BNDES offers R$ 150 million for new projects


Supported projects will reinforce the economic activity of communities capable of serving as forest stewards.

Up to 10 projects will receive from R$ 10 million to R$ 30 million in funds. 
The Amazon Fund, managed by the Brazilian Development Bank (BNDES) in cooperation with the Brazilian Ministry of the Environment, on Wednesday the 9th will issue a public call to support up to ten conservation and sustainable use projects in the Legal Amazon region with funds worth R$ 150 million, focused on sustainable productive activities. Also in 2017, in addition, a second public call will be launched, worth at least R$ 150 million, focused on reforestation activities.
These two calls are initiatives by the Amazon Fund to reinforce forest preservation actions following two consecutive years (2015-2016) of increasing deforestation. In the previous ten years Brazil had successfully achieved an 81% reduction in deforestation rates.
The projects related to this new public call – no. 01/2017, Consolidation and reinforcement of sustainable and inclusive value chains – should aim to strengthen the economic activity of communities capable of serving as forest stewards: traditional peoples and communities, riverine populations, families settled in land reform areas, family farming projects, indigenous peoples and quilombola communities living in the Legal Amazon region.
These communities play a key role in the defense of the Amazon region, complementing traditional action to fight deforestation carried out by the federal government and state and local governments.
The communal production activities that sustainably exploit the natural resources of the Amazon socio-biodiversity (açaí, chestnuts, cocoa, pirarucu, fibers etc.) generate income and economic and social development for those populations. Moreover, they particularly encourage the communities to naturally embrace the preservation and appreciation of the standing forest, since nature becomes the source of the resources that guarantee their livelihood and economic growth.
“Funding in this new public call for projects is more than double the R$ 70 million invested in the previous initiative in 2015. And this year we will issue yet another call, focused on reforestation projects, which may be worth even more. We are therefore helping Brazil meet the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). It is the Amazon Fund’s contribution to help reverse the alarming scenario of deforestation,” explains Marilene Ramos, BNDES managing director of the Socio-environmental and Infrastructure departments.
According to the Brazilian environment minister, Sarney Filho, support for the Amazon Fund from Norway and Germany has been essential for fighting deforestation. “The Brazilian government is committed to maintaining the Fund fully operational and preserving its status with donors. This partnership is even more important now that Brazil is recovering from economic instability and intensifying action that has successfully reversed the rising deforestation rate of the last two years,” adds Sarney Filho. 
“Norway is proud to be Brazil’s partner in its effort to reduce deforestation,” says the Norwegian Ambassador to Brazil, Aud Marit Wiig. “It is important to note that the Amazon Fund is a genuinely Brazilian fund, its results and achievements are Brazilian, as are its challenges. Norway is extremely pleased with its results and remains committed to supporting Brazil to reduce deforestation. I hope Brazil will continue to make the best use possible of this mechanism and that other countries shall be inspired by this innovative management model,” he adds.
Candidates submitting projects in this new public call should include at least three subprojects by other organizations, in an integrated and coordinated proposal. Each project may receive from R$ 10 million to R$ 30 million in non-refundable investment and must include at least one of the following economic activities:
 • Timber and non-timber forest management, including wildlife management.
 • Aquaculture and fishing activities. 
 • Alternative production systems based on agro-ecology and agroforestry.
 • Community-based tourism.
The submission period extends from August 9 through December 7, 2017. Announcement of the approved projects is scheduled for April 13, 2018. The projects may be submitted by associations, cooperatives, foundations governed by private law and private companies.
One of the biggest world initiatives to fight deforestation
The Amazon Fund is one of the biggest and most important world initiatives to fight deforestation and a key part of Brazil’s commitment to eradicate illegal deforestation by 2030. In its eight years of operation, the Amazon Fund has earmarked around R$ 1.4 billion for 89 projects from different segments and areas of the Legal Amazon region.All funds are non-reimbursable and destined for projects to prevent, monitor and fight deforestation and to promote conservation and sustainable use in the Legal Amazon region.
Managed by the Brazilian Development Bank (BNDES), the Amazon Fund has funds from three sources. The Norwegian government contributed the largest share, around 97.4% of the total (approximately R$ 2.77 billion). The German government contributed 2.1% (about R$ 60.69 million) and Petrobras contributed 0.5% (R$ 14.7 million).
The Brazilian Ministry of the Environment plays a strategic role in the participatory management of the Amazon Fund. It chairs the three-way Steering Committee (COFA) which comprises the federal government, state governments and civil society. COFA is responsible for establishing guidelines and criteria for investing funds, as well as regularly approving information on the Amazon Fund. COFA also oversees the alignment of initiatives supported by the Amazon Fund, in accordance with the guidelines of the Plan for Prevention and Control of Deforestation in the Legal Amazon Region (PPCDAm) and the National REDD + Strategy (ENREDD +).
The Amazon Fund supports projects by the federal government and state and local governments, third sector organizations, universities and even an international project – Monitoring Forest Cover in the Amazon Region, of the Amazon Cooperation Treaty Organization (ACTO), which comprises eight countries (Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Peru, Suriname and Venezuela). The following areas are supported by the Amazon Fund:
 • Management of public forests and protected areas.
 • Environmental control, monitoring and surveillance.
 • Sustainable forest management.
 • Economic activities developed from the sustainable use of vegetation.
 • Ecological and economic zoning, land planning and regularization.
 • Conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity.
 • Restoration of deforested areas.
Since 2009, 89 projects have been supported by the Amazon Fund and currently there are 10 projects under analysis. The states with the highest number of projects are Pará (14), Mato Grosso (13), Amazonas (9) and Acre (9), but there are 31 other projects involving more than one state. Third sector organizations hold the largest number of projects (47), followed by states (21), cities (7), federal government (7), universities (6) and international (1). 
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