Brazilian food company JBS has announced that it will invest R$60 million (€11.9 million) in new projects to promote the sustainable development and preservation of the Amazon biome, within its Fund for the Amazon.
According to JBS, the fund is a non-profit association dedicated to promoting and financing initiatives that encourage the conservation of the forest and improve the quality of life for the Amazon’s indigenous communities, through the use of technology and applied science.
Its goal is to raise the fund’s resources to R$1 billion (€1.9 billion) by 2030, and JBS has committed to matching the contribution from each donation, up to R$500 million (€99 million).
According to the group, seven new projects have been selected from over 100 proposals, to add to the existing 12 initiatives being funded.
‘The project aims to diminish the impact of the plastic chain on the environment, generate income for the community, and create a biodegradable product that fosters the circular economy and community-based businesses,’ the fund stated.
Some of the selected projects aim to diminish the impact of plastic and foster a circular economy, such as Bioplásticos da Amazônia.
This initiative addresses the need to substitute plastic with compostable alternatives, using Amazon fibres, such as sawdust, and Brazil nut shells and casings.
The fund supports research into raw materials that are biodegradable in the Amazon, as well as the development of bioplastic (green polypropylene) using Brazil nut waste.
Elsewhere, Inova Amazonia and Proteínas da Amazônia aim to research new ingredients and alternative products for the food industry – again, respecting the Amazon’s biodiversity.
Contribution To Local Communities
“These innovative projects will undoubtedly make a massive contribution to the Amazon production chain and local communities,” said Andrea Azevedo, programme and project director of the fund.
For this purpose, the project Mãos Indígenas, Floresta em Pé – roughly translated as ‘Indigenous Hands, Standing Forest’ – focuses on empowering women and young people from indigenous territories to protect their ancestral forests.
Other chosen initiatives support the conservation of biodiversity, such as the Pirarucu project, focused on the fishing industry, and the Associação dos Produtores Rurais de Carauri (ASPROC) production line.
Another project, which seeks to develop a sustainable ‘cocoa corridor’, will consolidate several local forest conservation and restoration initiatives in the south-western Amazonian region of Pará.
In addition, the Geoflora project aims to facilitate the evaluation of land by using new technologies to monitor greenhouse gas emissions and deforestation.