MANAUS – Carlos Koury, technical director of the Conservation and Sustainable Development Institute of the Amazon (Idesam) and coordinator of the Bioeconomy Priority Program (PPBio) of the Manaus Free Trade Zone, says that with a strong forest-based economy it is possible to preserve and give continuity to the fauna and flora, maintaining the expectation that Brazil has regarding the conservation of the Amazon.
“We have good examples of economies that have already happened from the forest and even impacted the world in a very positive way. The best example is rubber, but the economy doesn’t move to the Amazon region anymore. We have good local indications that show the Amazon potential, the biodiversity as a collection for management, for offering solutions to the world, which is more available for this format of performance”, emphasizes Carlos Koury.
Idesam is a non-governmental, non-profit organization that has been active in Manaus for 17 years. Currently, the organization is also present in 11 cities in the interior of Amazonas. Carlos Koury points out that the institute has three lines of action: territorial organization and public policies, helping governments and communities; field projects with communities, promoting the development of chains such as vegetable oils, essences, wood, and coffee; and support for the ecosystem of social and environmental impact businesses in the Amazon.
“We can’t stay in the largest source of biodiversity [in the world], of potential products, and not convert this into our own benefit, because the Amazon region represents only 8% of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), and converting this would be an excellent opportunity now, at the moment we are, since we have a lot of accumulated knowledge”, he stresses.
Technology as a benefit
The technological development in the Amazon tied to forest conservation can bring countless benefits, both to the world and to the communities that live in the region. According to Koury, in the agroforestry system, for example, the rural producer can get an increase in revenue of up to 300%, thanks to the practice of sustainable production with bioeconomy.
“Operating with this facility to generate resources from the forest is a mission that you have at the moment and you can generate very important numbers. For example, a liter of copaiba oil, which normally in the non-organized market is around R$10 to R$20, in the organized market, together with the communities and their associations, the liter of this oil rises to R$30 to R$70. The forest is the economic asset of the rural producer, of the Amazon inhabitant, and he needs to be able to monetize this process”, concludes Carlos Koury.
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