Forestry investment in Brazil was responsible for boosting the country’s economy by around US$5.5 billion during 2014.
IBGE, the Brazilian official bureau of statistics, said that reforestation and sustainable forestry management, especially in the Amazon rainforests areas in the north and north east of the country, are paying major dividends.
It found that reforestation projects were responsible for generating $4.2 billion, while a further $1.2 billion was generated from sustainably produced forestry products.
Brazil is turning to reforestation to help reduce the effects of climate change and is concentrating its efforts on the Amazon. In June, the country’s President Dilma Rousseff signed an agreement with US President Barack Obama committing Brazil to planting trees to restore 12 million hectares of forestry by 2030.
The pledge also included a promise to wipe out illegal logging by 2030, which has been one of the major causes of deforestation in the Amazon. However, Mr Rousseff has been accused by environmentalists of not going far enough, because the targets do little more than rubber stamp current laws.
Greenpeace Brazil has claimed that the target is only 50 per cent of the requirements of Brazil’s Forest Code. The group presented a draft zero reforestation bill to Brazilian politicians in October, which was signed by more than a million people, urging the politicians to do more to replenish the rainforest and stop deforestation.
However, there has been a major reduction in deforestation in the Amazon in the last 10 years, although more recent figures have suggested that it is rising again. Work to plant more trees and stamp out illegal logging has been helped by $1 billion in funding provided to the Brazil Amazon Fund by Norway.
Companies such as Greenwood Management play a major role in helping with reforestation projects in Brazil and around the world, working with sustainably-managed forestry schemes.