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Governors of the Amazon Meet
Permanent Forum makes important resolutions for the region
Antonio Carlos Rix (carlosrix)     Print Article 
Published 2008-11-23 10:48 (KST)   
Edited by Carlos Arturo Serrano  <Editor's Note>
The old rubber barons had dreamed of transforming Manaus into a European-style city, and dubbed it "The Paris of the Tropics". The end of the rubber boom brought a decline that only subsided in the 1950s. A turning point was reached in 1967, when the federal government established the Manaus Free Zone.

From that date on, the capital of the Amazon has underwent steady growth. Now an important center for electric and electronic manufacture, Manaus supplies the rest of Brazil with its DVD players and computer monitors.

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Concerned with the interdependence between the environment and sustainable development, governors of the Amazonian states in Brazil are getting together to take Manaus and the rest of its region farther than "The Paris of the Tropics." They intend to make it an example to the world of responsible state management.

Governors of the nine states in the northern region of Brazil met on November 14th for the III Forum of Governors of the Legal Amazon held in Manaus--the capital of the state of Amazonas. Agrarian regularization of the legal Amazon was one of the main issues discussed. Other topics of concern were common measures for regional integration; national and international traffic through highways, waterways and airports; tax reforms; and the approval of the Green Fund Equity (FPE).

The event resulted in a letter sent to the President and other government officials (full transcription below).

We Governors of the States that compose the Legal Amazon: Acre, Amapa, Amazonas, Maranhao, Mato Grosso, Para, Rondonia, Roraima and Tocantins, aware of our responsibilities, believe that our region already has the ability to achieve prosperity and sustainability.

For that purpose our proposal is:

1. Land Adjustment and Zoning through partnerships between states and the federal government, according to the schedule of activities proposed in this forum, which will culminate at the next meeting of the managing committee of the Sustainable Amazon Plan;

2. Support measures for regional integration, national and international states of the Legal Amazon, including highways, airports, railroads and, with particular attention, waterways, paying attention to:
- Recast of Regional Aviation, with different incentives and regulations to be discussed at the next Forum as a proposal;
Expansion of waterways, as in the Tocantins River (in Environment with locks of Horam and Strait), Rio Madeira and Rio Purus;
- Road links Improvement, such as the connection of the Amapa
- French Guiana (BR-156); of Roraima to Guyana (Bridge of the River Tacutu); Alaska to Peru and the Pacific; BR-319, BR-317 (Mouth of the River Acre White), BR-163 (to meet the environmental schedule to avoid delays) and BR-307 (San Gabriel sentence in the Cucui).

3. Support the Tax Reform, reiterating the need for the collection of VAT in the generation, transmission and distribution of energy;

4. Establish policies with target sectors to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases to ensure the implementation of systems of payment for environmental services;

5. Ensure that the Amazon Fund direct form of shared resources to states and their respective environmental agencies in ensuring the maintenance of investments that the federal government already applies in the control and monitoring of the Amazon environment;

6. Expedite the approval of the FPE Green - Equity Green Fund;

7. Include in the general budget of the Union budget amendment, already approved, of US$250 million and $500 million, respectively, in the Committee of the Amazon (for the preparation of ZEEs) and the Committee of Agriculture (for the Regularization of Legal Amazon Land).

This act is signed seeking the development of the Amazon for those who live in it.
Governor Eduardo Braga - Amazon
Deputy Governor Carlos Cesar Correia de Messiah - Acre
Governor-in-Office of Odair Santos Correa - PA
Governor Pedro Paulo Dias in Office - Amapa
Governor-in-Office Luiz Carlos Porto - Maranhao
Governor Blairo Maggi - Mato Grosso
Governor Ivo Cassol - Rondonia
Governor Jose de Anchieta Junior - Roraima
Governor Marcelo Miranda - Tocantins

Manaus, November 14, 2008.
III Board of Governors of the Legal Amazon

Important advances

Governor Eduardo Braga said the Third Forum has generated important advances in the region, particularly regarding the land issue, because the federal government presented a concrete proposal for the problem and pledged to place in 2009 a total of $15 million for land settlement.

"This forum is permanent and its meetings will be held every two months. Here this is not the Amazonas (state), here we are the Amazon, and how good is it that Amazon has governors who have the same speech, the same understanding and are committed to Brazil and the Amazon (region)," Braga added.

That kind of speech and action give us hope that Brazilians will achieve their goal of sustainable development, for the good of the people of the forest and of the whole world.

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©2008 OhmyNews
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