Thursday, May 22, 2014

Donors Commit $215 Million to Protect and Expand Huge Amazon Reserve

Rio Negro, connected to the largest Amazon Rainforest Reserve (Credit: Click to enlarge.
A group of foundations, environmental groups and private investors created a $215 million fund to protect a swath of the Amazon larger than California.

The funds will be disbursed over 25 years to support ARPA, the Amazon Region Protected Areas Program, according to a statement today.  The network of protected sites is the world’s largest tropical forest national park.

Backers include the World Wildlife Fund, Inter-American Development Bank, the World Bank and Linden Trust for Conservation, said Carter Roberts, WWF’s chief executive officer.  When the fund is drained, Brazil is expected to assume responsibility for protecting the region, which will eventually expand to about 150 million acres (60.7 million hectares) from 128 million acres.

“We dream of doing things at the scale of the problems we face,” Roberts said yesterday in a telephone interview.  “When you look at global rates of deforestation and how it contributes to climate change, doing something at this scale matters a lot -- creating a system of parks the size of one-and-a-half Californias.”

Donors Commit $215 Million to Protect and Expand Huge Amazon Reserve

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