Brazilian state to pilot a UN-Habitat sustainable development plan
Belem, Brazil, 25 August 2015– The state of Pará in Brazil will serve as a pilot model for a UN-Habitat sustainable development plan which aims to implement a methodology to anticipate problems in areas impacted by large industries such as hydropower and mining. The agreement was signed this week in Belem, the state’s capital. The plan’s main goal is to reduce the social and environmental impacts caused by large industrial projects in urban and rural areas of the surrounding municipalities. Liane Freire, president of the Institute Dialog, a UN-Habitat partner in the project, explains that many studies have been conducted since 2012 to define several possible risk anticipation set-ups for disaster prevention in these regions. “In the pilot that will be implemented in the Tapajós region, we intend to test these methods and see if we can have a different experience from the usual ones when large projects are rolled-out. To have a greater share of positive impacts rather than negative ones is not only good for the state, but also for Brazil,” said Freire. The director of the UN-Habitat Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean, Elkin Velásquez stressed that, within the objectives for the sustainable development of areas with major industrial projects, the United Nations has a clear vision of promoting the quality of life of indigenous people. “That is what we are trying to establish. For us is, it is a great privilege and responsibility to develop this project here in Pará, in the heart of the Amazon”, he said. The governor of Pará, Simão Jatene noted that the state is the best synthesis of the Amazon. Throughout history, the state went through economic cycles that generated little wealth for the Amazonian society. The Northern region continues to attract large enterprises. The current effort, however, is for the planning of these projects to increase, along with the established business production process, the quality of life of the impacted surrounding communities. “I am very happy about this initiative. The real driver of this project is anticipation. We can anticipate problems before they arise. The UN has the global expertise for projects like this, and we believe that we move forward together through synergy effects. We can do different, always focused on the social development of our people”, said Governor Jatene.