Citing the need for participatory governance structures to address twin needs for economic development balanced with conservation and protection of threatened ecosystems as driving forces, Brazil has unveiled two new Model Forests.
During a recent Regional Model Forest Network for Latin America and the Caribbean (RMFN-LAC) Board of Directors’ meeting, hosted by Brazil’s state of Minas Gerais, the state took the opportunity to showcase both the Mata Atlantica Model Forest, based in the area of Ouro Preto, and the Pandeiros Model Forest, in the north of Minas Gerais. The state’s Forest Institute of the Ministry of Environment is leading development of the sites, which will seek to safeguard the Mata Atlantica forest ecosystem of the south-east, and the Cerrado to the north using the Model Forest approach.
The Secretary of Environment for Minas Gerais, Sr. José Carlos Carvalho, spoke strongly of the need to use the Model Forest approach to build effective partnerships with communities and develop workable, long-term solutions to balancing ecological, social, and economic needs on the landbase. The Regional and International Networks were noted as important vehicles, not only to share experiences and advance innovation, but also as a means to put forestry more directly on the political agenda both in the LAC region and globally.
The site visits revealed projects that are well-advanced in terms of strategic vision and partnerships, with opportunities already developed for environmental education, community engagement, economic development within the natural resource sector, and conservation and protection.