Brazil opens up threatened rainforest to scientists and business experts

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  • 31st October 2017
Amazon rainforest

For the first time, the world’s largest tropical rainforest is to be made available to businesses, universities and entrepreneurs as a global science and innovation centre.

It is hoped that this will help us to understand, protect and preserve this vital asset for future generations. One of their most pressing aims will be to find better ways of making money from the rainforest than chopping down its trees. Initial members of the Amazonian Alliance Science & Innovation Working Group – including academics from Imperial College London, University of Sussex and the UK’s Satellite Applications Catapult – are combining with the Brazilian Rainforest Conservation Company to tackle one of the most pressing challenges of our time; the destruction of the Amazon rainforest.

Through a Strategic Alliance Agreement signed today, the Brazilian Rainforest Conservation Company (EBCF), under the umbrella of the ‘Amazonian Alliance’, and innovation experts, Redpill Group Ltd, are inviting others from around the world to join them in creating a science and innovation centre, set within an initial reserve of 50,000 acres of protected rainforest. This private sustainable development reserve is the first of its kind in the history of Brazil and the Amazon, with social projects related to health, education, infrastructure and income generation directly benefiting over 3,000 people living in 15 local communities.

EBCF, which is expected to open up a further 2 million acres in the next few years, is committed to the conservation, protection and well-being of Amazon rainforest communities by supporting the sustainable harvesting of non-timber forest produce, raw materials, and ingredients as well as the advancement of sustainable forestry and environmental eco-services. Other revenue streams include Corporate Social Responsibility programmes, the development of carefully designed eco-tourism and primary carbon credits, as part of the adoption of REDD+, resulting in a fully licensed Carbon Credit programme equating to an initial 3 million tons of CO₂ each year.

Joining EBCF and Redpill Group as initial members of the Amazonian Alliance Science & Innovation Working Group are academics from Imperial College London, University of Sussex, the Satellite Applications Catapult, satellite imagery experts Sterling-Geo and, as lead partners for Brazil, Hdom Consultoria Ambiental.

Members of the Working Group will help to develop an applied research strategy and programme of work to identify and unlock new research and commercial value exceeding that achievable from logging and forest destruction. A new financial paradigm and economic model for the Amazon will be developed to underpin the objectives of the Paris climate accord; not only providing sustainable and robust economic models for developing countries such as Brazil and transferring to other ecologically sensitive environments around the world, but also delivering new science, technology, innovation, policies, business and governance models that will contribute to mitigating and combating climate change.

The health of the Amazon is key to the behaviour of the world’s climate because this unique environment accounts for 20% of global oxygen production and holds up to 40% of the world’s fresh water in its rivers. The Amazon also holds the key to many known and future challenges, such as those in biodiversity, carbon capture and pharmacology.

Launching with a series of 200 acre plots and support facilities, the Science & Innovation Research Centre will be used for field research across a huge span of zoological, botanical, environmental and sustainable development interests. In addition, the Centre will open up the Amazon as the ultimate ‘living lab’; a test-bed for a range of adjacent science and technology, including but not limited to pharmaceuticals, nutraceuticals, food science, energy, Big Data, sensor and drone technologies, satellite & Remote Sensing Imagery, 3D modelling & data visualisation, image recognition and many more. Large companies already engaged as Partners via the “We are Amazonians” branded Global Sustainability Program, such as Sony Music Brazil and Hyundai, will be joined by entrepreneurs, start-ups and growing businesses from Brazil and around the world.

Quotes

EBCF / Amazonian Alliance; Leonardo Barrionuevo

Leonardo Barrionuevo, CEO of EBCF – Empresa Brasileira de Conservação de Florestas (Brazilian Rainforest Conservation Company) and President of the Amazonian Alliance Corp, said

“We’ve created EBCF and the Amazonian Alliance with a singular vision based 100% on the sustainable development of our planet. We are all humans. We all cohabit on the same small planet and are dependent on the same natural resources. We all cherish the future of our children. We must take care of the Amazon Rainforest for the present and future generations. After all, when it comes to the air we breathe, we are all Amazonians”

Redpill Group Ltd

Dr Robin Daniels, Managing Director of Redpill Group Ltd, said

“Redpill Group is delighted to be appointed as Global Innovation Partner of the Amazonian Alliance and Chair of the Science & Innovation Working Group. The destruction of the Amazon Rainforest is one of the most significant challenges facing our planet. Finding robust and effective solutions will require the creative, energetic and sustained application of the world’s best scientific, technical, commercial and financial minds. The launch of this Working Group marks the start of that journey.”

Imperial College London

Professor Peter Childs, Head of the Dyson School of Design Engineering, Imperial College London, said

“We, at Imperial College London, are privileged and excited to be part of this endeavour to preserve the Amazon rain forest through scientific breakthroughs and the innovative adaptation of existing technologies. Combining our technical capabilities with a range of socio-economic and business expertise from across the College, we look forward to working with partners from around the world to address this most pressing of challenges.”

University of Sussex

Professor Steve McGuire, Head of the School of Business, Management and Economics at University of Sussex said:

“As a research institution we are concerned with achieving progress at a wide scale and so have particular interest in how this work might become scalable at a wider scale in Amazonia, in Brazil and in other similar contexts around the world. Establishing the evidence base for practical delivery of social and economic progress within environmental limits is a highly relevant area of research for us.”

Satellite Applications Catapult

Dr Sam Adlen, Head of Business Innovation, Satellite Applications Catapult, said:

“We are delighted to be working with the Amazonian Alliance and leading Brazilian and UK partners to be able to develop new ways to protect, preserve and sustainably manage the tropical rainforest. The rainforest is one of our most vital assets as the pressures from climate change and other human influences grow. Through observation, positioning and remote communications, satellites can play a vital role in understanding, protecting and optimising the use of the rainforest. With growing commitments to zero deforestation, we look forward to working with the best in science and innovation to develop new approaches to maintaining and developing the rainforest for generations to come.”

Hdom Consultoria Ambiental

Mateus Bonadiman, M.Sc., CEO of Hdom Consultoria Ambiental, said

“We’re delighted to join the Amazonian Alliance Science & Innovation Working Group, since we believe this initiative could bring Technologies that have potential to greatly improve forest economy and local people’s lives. Embrace new ways to sustainably manage the Amazonian Forest will help to avoid deforestation and create opportunity for local traditional populations to improve quality livelihood and build a better future for the generations to come.”

Sterling-Geo Ltd

Phil Cooper CIO and Director of Stirling-Geo said

“The Amazon Rainforest are lungs of the planet, the need to understand and monitor the change using Remote Sensing Imagery will accurately inform us all. For over 30 years we have been observing this destruction, now with a daily repeat cycle from satellites we can assess, monitor and inform on a scale and with greater accuracy than ever before. That information is the power we need to change opinion and represent the true economic as well as social value of the rainforest.”

 

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