Brazil President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva on Wednesday said that next week’s summit of Amazon region nations will seek to draw up a common policy for the first time to protect the rainforest.

“I have high expectations for this summit. For the first time we are going to have a common policy for the Amazon, for preservation, security, borders,” Lula said.

The eight countries of the Amazon Cooperation Treaty Organization (ACTO) will meet Aug. 7-8 in the city of Belem at the mouth of the Amazon river.

The summit will focus on forest conservation and security along the borders, Lula said, adding that private businesses will be asked to help with the reforestation of 30 million hectares of degraded land.
Reporting by Lisandra Paraguassu; Editing by Mark Porter and Aurora Ellis via Reuters.

Rubber tapper Raimundo Mendes de Barros prepares to leave his home, surrounded by rainforest, for an errand in the Brazilian Amazon city of Xapuri. He slides his long, scarred, 77-year-old feet into a pair of sneakers made by Veja, a French brand.

At first sight, the expensive, white-detailed urban tennis shoes seem at odds with the muddy tropical forest. But the distant worlds have converged to produce soles made from native Amazonian rubber.

Veja works with a local cooperative called Cooperacre, which has reenergized the production of a sustainable forest product and improved the lives of hundreds of rubber tapper families. It’s a project that, though modest in scale, provides a real-life example of living sustainably from the forest.“Veja and Cooperacre are doing an essential job for us who live in the forest. They are making young people come back. They have rekindled the hope of working with rubber,” Rogério Barros, Raimundo’s 24-year-old son, told The Associated Press as he demonstrated how to tap a rubber tree in the family’s grove in the Chico Mendes Extractive Reserve. Extractive reserves in Brazil are government-owned lands set aside for people to make a living while they keep the forest standing.

By Fabiano Maisonnave, Tatiana Pollastri, and Eraldo Peres via AP News

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Strategists at a UK bank have proposed the idea of a super-sized $10 billion Brazilian government bond that would be specifically designed to help halt the destruction of the Amazon rainforest.

Stopping deforestation of the Amazon, which absorbs vast amounts of planet-warming greenhouse gas, is part of Brazilian President-elect Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva’s sweeping plan to reclaim leadership on climate change measures.

He has recently asked the United States, Britain, France, Switzerland and Canada to join an international Amazon protection fund set up during his first 2003-10 administration and has made a firm commitment to zero deforestation by 2030.

To help stick to that pledge, strategists at NatWest have proposed what would be the world’s biggest ever ‘sustainability-linked bond’ – a special type of government debt that would have an explicit promise to protect the rainforest.

By Marc Jones via Reuters

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