Press Releases

Instituto Terra and IFC Join Efforts to Support Sustainable Environmental Project in Brazil

IFC in Washington D.C.:
Adriana Gomez
Phone:  (202) 458-5204

Fax:  (202) 974-4384


IFC in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil:

Antonio Carlos Simas Rio de Janeiro

Phone:  (5521) 2550 8999


Contact in Instituto Terra, Brazil:

Aline Tristão Bernardes

Director of Projects

Phone:  (5533) 3267 2302


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 human dignity.”

The Instituto Terra ( 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 ( 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.