The Amazon Rainforest, Brazilian state of Amazonas. <br/> Photo: © Neil Palmer (CIAT)

The Amazon Rainforest, Brazilian state of Amazonas.
Photo: © Neil Palmer (CIAT)

Restoring the Amazon rainforest

At a time when deforestation rates in Amazon forest are increasing, a new initiative is striding in the opposite direction and aiming to recover in Brazilian forests.

A initiative for the restoration of degraded areas in the Brazilian Amazon is calling for the restoration of almost 30,000 hectares during the next six years, the World Bank reported in September 2017. This corresponds to an estimated 73 million trees. The areas selected as priority for the project restoration actions are the southern regions of the states of Amazonas, Rondônia, Acre and Pará.
 
This forest restoration in Amazonia is the result of a partnership between the Brazilian Ministry of Environment (MMA), the Global Environment Facility (GEF), the World Bank, the Brazilian Fund for Biodiversity (FUNBIO), Conservation International (CI-Brasil), the socio-environmental initiative adopted by Rock in Rio, and Amazonia Live.

The Initiative comes at a time when the deforestation rate in the Amazon forest is starting to rise again. According to Brazil's National Institute for Space Research (INPE), the Amazon rainforest was deforested by an estimated 800 hectares from August 2015 to July 2016, which is a 29 per cent rise compared to the previous year.

Of the 73 million trees, 3 million on 1,200 hectares of the Amazon Forest would already have been restored. The initial contribution came from Rock in Rio festival and CI-Brasil, combined with spontaneous donations by the general public and support from festival sponsors and partners. 

The additional 70 million are part of the goals of the Amazon Sustainable Landscapes Program, a joint effort by the MMA, GEF, World Bank, FUNBIO, and CI-Brasil to expand the area of the forest being restored, promote sustainable use of natural resources, and strengthen the network of Conservation Units in the Brazilian Amazon.

Different methods will be applied, such as: enrichment of existing secondary forests, seeding of selected native species, conducting and/or fostering natural regeneration and, when necessary, direct planting of native species.

(The World Bank/ile)