Development, biodiversity and inclusion: the challenges of the Legal Amazon

Legal Amazon

Predatory activities present in the biome put socioeconomic growth at risk

With 502 million hectares and a rich biodiversity, the Legal Amazon has an area larger than that of the European Union (EU). Composed of 9 states, around 28 million Brazilians live in the region, most of whom face a series of social and economic challenges that cannot be ignored. 

Even more so when we know that preserving the Amazon Forest can generate seven times more value than the practice of exploration activities, such as extensive agriculture, logging and mining, an estimate that appears in a study recently published by world Bank entitled “A Balancing Act for Brazil's Amazonian States – An Economic Memorandum” (in free translation: a law of equilibrium for the Amazonian states of Brazil – an economic memorandum). 

Despite this discovery, the “arc of deforestation”, which covers parts of the states of Pará, Maranhão, Tocantins, Mato Grosso, Rondônia and Acre, has witnessed rapid destruction of its forests, putting at risk the natural wealth and traditional ways of life of many communities. This alarming scenario points to the need to adopt an alternative development route for the Amazon, which balances socioeconomic inclusion with the sustainable exploitation of its natural resources, in order to protect the biome and guarantee the quality of life of the region's inhabitants. 

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This transformation is not impossible and can be accomplished by improving productivity and stimulating socioeconomic development. In addition, strengthening land and forest governance, together with effective enforcement of existing laws, is essential for preserving the forest and promoting a sustainable existence.

With a strategic appreciation and preservation of the natural capital of the Amazon, it is possible to combine economic expansion with environmental protection. To this end, the search for financing for conservation, which are aligned with concrete goals for reducing deforestation, is a priority. 

At the Interelos Institute, we know that prosperity and preservation depend on solid value chains that promote the development of local communities, transforming producers into protagonists and owners of the means of production. For this, we adopt a pragmatic and innovative approach, which intervenes simultaneously and in an integrated way in the production chain.

Finally, we believe in the transforming power of education as a determining factor for sustainable development. Training young people and community leaders who are connected to their territory, able to use their resources in a sustainable way and preserve them for future generations, is the only way to achieve autonomy in the territories.

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