World Bank and GEF Grants to Protect 13.5 Million Hectares in the Amazon

World Bank - GEF23 February 2012: The World Bank has approved a US$15.9 million Global Environment Facility (GEF) grant to consolidate existing protected areas and create an additional 13.5 million hectares of protected areas in the Brazilian Amazon over the next four years.

The Second Phase of the Amazon Region Protected Area Program (ARPA) addresses Brazil's main source of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The World Bank notes that, due to Brazil's clean energy matrix, carbon emissions from land-use change and deforestation represent 45% of the country's total annual emissions. Multiple strategies have been implemented to counter the destruction of the forest, and the establishment of protected areas has proved to be a very efficient one.

While the first phase of ARPA successfully created 24 million hectares of protected areas, the overall goal is to create 100 million hectares of new protected areas. Further expansion in the second phase will play a crucial role in reaching the ultimate goal. The second phase of ARPA is expected to: create 13.5 million hectares of new protected areas, including parks, biological reserves, and sustainable development centers; consolidate 32 million hectares of protected areas, including the new ones; and promote long-term sustainability of these areas by increasing the endowment fund and investing in developing innovative methods to monitor and manage the protected areas. [World Bank Press Release]