British Energy Security and Net Zero Minister Graham Stewart visited Resex Tapajós-Arapiuns in Santarem, Western Pará this Saturday (24) to learn about the Amazon financing projects developed at the Centro Experimental Floresta Ativa (Cefa). .
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In addition to the British Minister, representatives of the BNDES and the British Embassy, field technicians of the Saúde e Alegria program and community members who benefited from the developed projects participated in the visit.
The minister left the coastal town of Alder do Sao at dawn and descended on the Garo community for visits. Graham Stewart was initially introduced to the solar energy infrastructure installed at CEFA headquarters.
“This is my first time at Amazon. I was blown away, the place is inspiring!” said Graham Stewart.
“I was refreshed when I saw a river of an unimaginable size, I thought it was an ocean, and I was refreshed to see how things go together here, which is exciting,” the minister continued.
Guided by technical experts and community members, the delegation identified two projects: Forest Nursery and Meliponiculter. Families benefiting from the projects are trained to develop actions aimed at environmental protection, social inclusion and increasing family income in the Tabajoz-Arabians extraction reserve.
In an interview g1 This is Tapajos TVThe minister emphasized that the UK has every interest in continuing to work in Brazil, particularly in the Amazon.
“These areas are of high importance and priority, and the UK wants to continue to support local communities. That’s why I’m here to follow up on the commitments the Foreign Secretary started here. There’s the Inclusive Green Growth Agreement he signed when he was in Brazil, and he’s continuing this work, and will continue to make the announcement when the President arrives.” “The UK is donating £80 million to the Amazon Fund. These resources will help communities in production, sustain forests and help keep the system sustainable,” continued Graham.
The minister was thrilled by what he saw on his first visit to the Amazon and said he would return.
“I hope to return to Brazil soon and I hope that the investment of £80 million in the Amazon Fund will be the start of more investment in the region and that this visit will open doors for others who want to invest”, he added.
For technical assistance coordinator Márcio Santos, the British minister’s visit is important and strategic.
“The visit is very strategic as the minister visiting us is part of the strategy to donate resources to the Amazon Fund, and today the center receives a large portion of both technical assistance and entrepreneurship from the Amazon Fund. , mainly tourism. So it’s important for them to come here and observe how the work is being done with the resources of the Amazon Fund,” said Marcio Santos.
BNDES representative Rodrigo Tosta also spoke about the importance of being in Santarem, one of the projects benefiting from the Amazon Fund. Rodrigo pointed out that some concrete results have already been delivered.
“This initiative is very important for the region, to generate income for the communities in the region, to help them evolve with their practices and to create value to sustain the forests”, said Rodrigo Tosta.
UK investments in Amazon
The minister’s visit is aimed at learning about the Amazon Fund’s plans and continuing talks between governments to strengthen partnerships. In May 2023, the United Kingdom announced that it would contribute to the Amazon Fund.
On Twitter, British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak announced that it would be worth 80 million pounds (roughly R$ 500 million).
Living Forest Experiment Centre
According to Technical Assistance Coordinator Marcio Santos, the Floresta Viva Testing Center trains an average of 4,000 people a year. The center is also a hub for many organizations.
“The center receives a lot of training in the production area and in the fields of education, health and rural entrepreneurship. We are currently promoting a technical assistance activity aimed at rehabilitating degraded areas, and today in this strategy we receive technical assistance and supervision for an average of 200 families, and a nursery that produces an average of 75,000 seedlings per year. We have,” said Márcio.
One of the points visited by the British Minister’s delegation was the forest nursery. At the site, many seedlings are grown, which are then destined for families to plant and industrialize wastelands. An average of 75,000 seedlings are produced annually.
Cultivated species include Andropa, Kumaru, Kubuasu, Cocoa, Acerola and others of high commercial value. The aim is to increase the income of more than 200 families who will benefit from this scheme.
In addition to the nursery visited, there are others in the Garo community, 8 communities of Resex Tabajos, Flona Tabajos and PAE Lago Grande, in addition to the indigenous villages benefiting from the project.
The Saúde e Alegria project conducts workshops and training sessions, with the aim of monitoring production until the chain is strengthened and communities can monitor it independently.
The British minister’s entourage also visited the meliponiculture project of the Floresta Attiva project, which manages stingless bees.
This year’s production should provide 2,000 kg of honey to Casa de Mel, where it will be commercialized and provide income to more than 160 families.
Joelma Lopes has been a beekeeper for 5 years and is one of the communities that benefited from the project. Joelma received 120 boxes, boxes with training and bees and thanks to this support, she has already sent them to two other families who received boxes for honey production.
“This is the proof that we can live and increase our income without cutting down the forest. We only knew honey for medicine, today we have already found out that it has many benefits for food through these studies,” Joelma said.
“Being involved in honey production from 20 to 120 in 5 years, I am impressed to see what the community has done and how the investments have come here, which shows the power of this work,” said the British minister. .
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