Concluded visit in the Amazon
His Royal Highness The Crown Prince concluded his official visit to Brazil on Thursday afternoon. Protection of the Amazon was on the agenda again today.
Brazil’s National Institute for Space Research is responsible for the extensive satellite monitoring of the Amazon region. The institute’s regional office records incidents of deforestation and other types of change, delivering extremely accurate information. The activities are funded in part through the Amazon Fund, where Norway is the largest contributor. Crown Prince Haakon visited the institute in Belém on Thursday.
Monitoring and enforcement
The efforts to stop deforestation in the Amazon comprise two main action points: monitoring and strict enforcement of regulations. At the National Institute for Space Research, Crown Prince Haakon had the chance to observe the monitoring activities in person and see how researchers and students interpret the data. He also learned about the collaboration between the researchers and the Brazilian Institute of Environment and Renewable Natural Resources (IBAMA), the government agency responsible for the executive, regulation and control of environmental policies.
IBAMA uses near real-time data from the satellites to move in and intervene to prevent environmental crimes in the rainforest. The Crown Prince listened as IBAMA staff members spoke of their battle against unlawful logging and viewed evidence in the form of photographs and confiscated material.
Ilha do Combú
Crown Prince Haakon boarded the river boat Maria Vitória for his final visit of the programme in Brazil: the Ilha do Combú nature reserve. The reserve is located on Combú Island, which covers about 1 500 hectares and is home to some 200 families known as Ribeirinhos, or “river people”, who make their livelihood from fishing and sustainable use of the natural environment.
On the way to the nature reserve, the Crown Prince was given an introduction to the Amazonian ecosystem and the activities of the Peabiru Institute, a non-governmental organisation that works with the local communities living in and from the Amazon, and helps them to find sustainable ways of earning a livelihood. The Peabiru Institute is involved in a number of areas, such as wild beekeeping, ecotourism, and the impact of palm oil production and rice plantations in the Amazon.
On Dona Nena’s farm
While on Combú Island, Crown Prince Haakon and his entourage met with Dona Nena, who grows cocoa beans and a variety of local fruits on her land. They were given an introduction to the island’s biodiversity and methods of sustainable food production. Dona Nena produces high-quality cacao for gourmet shops, and demonstrated the craftsmanship behind the making of her chocolate products.
To conclude his visit, Crown Prince Haakon held a final press conference in which he emphasised the enormous importance of the work being carried out in the Amazon. Brazil has achieved outstanding results in the efforts to stop deforestation. Norway’s financial contribution to save the rainforest –USD 1 billion in the Amazon alone in recent years – represents its most significant action in the international battle against climate change.
Congratulations are presented today from His Majesty King Harald to His Excellency Mr Egils Levits, President of the Republic of Latvia.
World Heritage at Vega
In 2004, UNESCO inscribed the Vega Archipelago on the World Heritage List. Today His Royal Highness The Crown Prince was in attendance to open the new Vega Archipelago World Heritage Centre – Norway’s first authorised centre of its kind.