Rio de Janeiro, November 26, 2002—The
Instituto Terra, a socio-environmental non-governmental organization
based in Aimorés, Minas Gerais, Brazil, and the International Finance Corporation
(IFC), the private sector development arm of the World Bank Group,
signed an agreement to explore potential business opportunities that would
contribute to sustainable development in the Brazilian Atlantic Rainforest
(Mata Atlântica) in Aimorés and the neighboring communities.
This pioneering project aims at developing a sustainable, commercially
viable business in Aimorés that would support the environmental and community
activities Instituto Terra currently leads in the region. Environmental
preservation, reforestation, integration of farmers in a modern system
of marketing and trading are among the potential areas that the project
would explore. Community leaders, landowners and neighboring cooperatives
are expected to participate.
The Instituto Terra’s founders, Sebastião Salgado, an internationally-acclaimed
photographer, and Lélia Wanick Salgado, as well as the Director of IFC’s
Latin America and Caribbean Department, Bernard Pasquier, signed the agreement
in Rio de Janeiro. By this agreement, IFC will provide a technical assistance
grant of US$150,000, and the Instituto Terra with the local community
will commit to raising $155,000 to conduct
feasibility studies. The Municipality of Aimorés, represented by the mayor
– Jurandir da Rocha, also acknowledged and signed the agreement as a collaborating
partner of the Instituto Terra.
“We are very excited about joining this project which not only shares
our mission of promoting sustainable development, but also creates a new
scheme for IFC’s collaboration with social and environmental organizations.
IFC has been and will continue to be a committed partner of the Brazilian
private sector, to help create employment in a manner consistent with protection
of the environment,” said Bernard Pasquier. “We hope that this project
will serve as a model for similar initiatives in Brazil and the region,”
Mr. Pasquier added.
Sebastiao Salgado, Instituto Terra’s president, also noted: “Aiming for
environmental preservation and reforestation in isolation is not sufficient.
We need to go beyond that and integrate all sectors in the communities
around the same objectives, encouraging a strong sense of citizenship and
The Instituto Terra (www.institutoterra.org)
was created in 1998 by Lélia Wanick Salgado and Sebastião Salgado, to promote,
develop, and implement preservation and reforestation of the Brazilian
Atlantic Rainforest (Mata Atlântica) in the Rio Doce Valley, States
of Minas Gerais and Espírito Santo, Brazil.
Through its education and outreach programs, the Institute work with community
leaders, landowners, local authorities, and cooperatives of rural producers,
to rescue the degraded ecosystem in the region and to build a sustainable
development model that would help preserve and reconstitute the Rainforest
while at the same time developing agricultural production. The Instituto
Terra is committed to creating long-term social improvement in the surrounding
communities and the region through raising ecological awareness, restoring
and preserving degraded Brazilian Rainforest, and promoting hands-on education.
IFC’s mission (www.IFC.org)
is to promote sustainable private sector investment in developing countries,
helping to reduce poverty and improve people's lives. IFC finances private
sector investments in the developing world, mobilizes capital in the international
financial markets, and provides technical assistance and advice to governments
and businesses. Since its founding in 1956 through the close of the last
fiscal year on June 30, 2002, IFC committed more than $34 billion of its
own funds and arranged $21 billion in syndications for 2,825 companies
in 140 developing countries. IFC's committed portfolio at the end of FY02
was $15.1 billion for our own account and $6.5 billion held for participants
in loan syndications.