MANAUS, Brazil, March 26, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — Social and environmental activist Bianca Jagger raised the issue of “Sustainable development and human rights” during the discussions at the 3rd Global Sustainability Forum in Manaus. She noted that Amazonia is an extraordinary treasure, home to many species, and that we have already lost a great many kilometers of the Amazon rainforest. Bianca expressed her support for investment in sustainable energy. “We cannot sacrifice present and future generations in the name of development.”
Virgilio Viana, general superintendent of FAS – Fundacao Amazonas Sustentavel (Sustainable Amazon Foundation), gave a talk entitled “REDD+: an alternative for businesses and communities.” As he sees it, the challenge is to stop the deforestation of Amazonia. “People do not destroy the forest because they are stupid, but because they are intelligent and rational, and want to improve their lives. The logic is to make it so that economic development works in favor of the forest and not against it.”
For his part, Almir Surui, Chief of the Paiter Surui People (Rondonia), spoke about “The green economy and the peoples of the rainforest,” pointing out that “public and private policies do not reach the communities they are supposed to reach. Surui called upon businessmen to take part in the creation of a development model for Amazonia.
Oskar Metsavaht, fashion designer and businessman, founder and president of the label Osklen, talked about “Sustainability and the desire industry.” As he sees it, the people of Brazil need to improve their lives. “Brazil needs to develop economically, and it has vast space to become a developed country with a fair distribution of income in a sustainable manner.” To Metsavaht, one obstacle is the lack of a branding plan. “Unless we have added value, we’ll just continue to be commodity vendors, just talking about charity.” “We must show that it is more interesting to buy sustainable products from Brazil than famous brands from the United States, made with cheap labor from China.”
At the closing, Joao Doria Jr., President of LIDE – Grupo de Lideres Empresarias (Group of Business Leaders), read the Amazon Charter. In it, LIDE has signed a commitment to mobilize Brazilian society to pass national legislation to institute payments for environmental services, recognizing this mechanism as essential to ensuring sustainable development. He also underscored other important issues in this regard. The full text of the charter is at: www.lidebr.com.br.
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