Target: Dr. Jim Yong Kim, President, World Bank
Goal: Praise financial investment in large-scale conservation program in Brazil, and encourage support for program expansion.
Deforestation threatens the survival of plant and animal species and accelerates the impact of climate change as more CO2 is released into the atmosphere. Many countries in heavily forested continents like South America have grappled with how to balance economic realities with the increasing need for environmental conservation. As the largest country in South America, Brazil has taken a leadership role in conservation efforts, with a pledge to reduce deforestation 80% by 2020.
In partnership with the Brazilian government and World Bank, the World Wildlife Fund established a large-scale conservation project called the “Amazon Region Protected Areas Programme,” in 2002. Under the ARPA project over 25 million hectares of Brazilian rainforest were protected by 2008. This includes the largest tropical forest park in the world, Tumumucaque Mountains National Park, covering an area greater than Switzerland. Forest conservation through the ARPA is projected to have a real impact on greenhouse gas emission, with a study published in the National Academy of Sciences estimating an attributable 16% reduction in expected global deforestation emissions by 2050.
The success of the ARPA program in Brazil presents an opportunity for expansion into additional countries in South America. These include heavily forested nations such as Bolivia, Peru, Venezuela, Guyana, Suriname and Ecuador. Together they account for over 2 million square kilometers of forested land. If forested land in all six countries were protected at the same rate as in Brazil, this would equal 6 million additional hectares, or an area roughly the size of Washington state.
As a primary funder of the Amazon Region Protected Areas Programme, the World Bank deserves praise for supporting such an ambitious forest conservation project. However it has not yet pledged additional resources for program expansion beyond Brazil, despite a relatively modest investment of $35 million (total grants and loans made in just 2016 exceeded $45 billion), and its own assessment reports rating the Brazil ARPA project as a success. Please sign the below petition urging the World Bank to support expansion of the ARPA Programme.
Dear Dr. Kim,
I am writing to thank the World Bank for supporting the Amazon Region Protected Areas forest conservation program in Brazil. The project was extremely successful in protecting over 25 million hectares of land, establishing the world’s largest tropical forest park and safeguarding millions of plant and animal species. This effort will also help mitigate the worsening impacts of climate change.
The World Wildlife Fund has proposed expansion of the ARPA program into several other countries in South America. Please consider directing additional World Bank funding in support of these efforts.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Geoff Gallice