Outside Reading: IPAM and Information about the Forest Code

Yesterday I lamented a lack of available information about the Forest Code (other than, pleas to veto it because it’s a “hatchet job“) while at the same time praising the Internet as a powerful tool for spreading awareness and starting dialogues. Well, today and hopefully from here on out, I’m going to attempt to harness a little more of that power myself and share what I learn here on this blog.

Please note that I am not an expert on anything nor a member of any NGOs or any country’s government institutions, I am simply an American expat who does freelance photography and writing and am attempting to document, from my subjective viewpoint, various parts of my life in Brazil. I change my mind. I get things wrong. I lose things through translation but above all I’m constantly hungry to know more about the world I live in, everything in it, on it, how it’s changing, why and what could be different.

Ok, so onward we go.

Today I want to look at the organization IPAM.

Who is IPAM?

The Amazon Environmental Research Institute (O Instituto De Pesquisa Ambiental da Amazônia) is the Brazilian NGO known by the acronym, IPAM. According to their about page (which is in English. The whole site can be read in Enlgih or Portuguese), this 16 year old organization is:

“Made up of scientists and educators, the remit of IPAM was to address three problems that threaten the survival of the forest and its people: degraded landscape, non-sustainable economies and social injustice. To that effect, another important premise of IPAM, which still cuts across its main work, is the idea that solutions to the problems arising for Amazon region shall, necessarily, include the active participation of people living in the region, especially the forest people: indigenous, extractivists, rivers village and maroons, among others”

So, why is this interesting?

Well, first as I said above, the site can be read in it’s entirety in English and second, they have dedicated page to Forest Code updates that dates back to November 30, 2011.

The updates that I found interesting are:

1. UPDATE: November 30, 2011 – features answers to, among other questions, ” What is the Forest Code?” and “Why is pressure to change the Forest Code on the part of the rural sector so strong?”. This update also explains what PPAs (APPs in Portuguese) are. If you, like me have stumbled across this acronym in other articles about the Forest Code, you might also be happy to learn that PPA, in this case, stands for permanent protection areas.

2. UPDATE: May 10, 2012– backlinks to an EDF.org article,In Brazil, attorneys and scientists join calls for President Dilma Rousseff to veto Forest Code wherein you can find a backlink to the real meat and potatoes, 13 Reasons for President Rousseff to veto the new Brazilian forestry code . I know that’s a lot of backlinking but sometimes you have to dig and click through. It’s all in English, so I think it’s worth the hunt.

The entire IPAM website is worth looking over, if you ask me. They have a REDD(Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation) document available for download and several other online documents. They also have a free online course, The Amazon Rainforest and Climate Change. Finally, this page,IPAM Learn More , is almost full to the point of bursting with interesting information.

In conclusion, I think it’s all informative outside reading. If you’re interested in what’s happening in the Amazon, I think it might be a good starting point.

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