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Rainforest Continent Business School project discussed at the Wilson Center

by Richard Meckien - published May 27, 2013 02:45 PM - - last modified Oct 09, 2015 12:48 PM

Wilson CenterOn May 15th, the Brazil Institute of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, Washington, USA, convened a group of experts interested in learning about and contributing to the creation of the “Rainforest Continent” Business School (RCBS).

The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the creation of the first business school dedicated to the preservation of tropical forests not only as an environmental priority, but also a business proposal. For the discussion, representatives of government agencies, NGOs, universities, private companies and international institutions have been invited. The mediator was anthropologist and environmentalist Maritta Koch-Weser, coordinator of the research group of IEA.

The proposed school aims at providing expert training for competitive, environmentally and socially sustainable, and science-based business development in tropical rainforests. It will enable a new generation of professionals to realize the unique economic potential that can be realized within standing forests.

According to the environmentalist, although it is widely accepted that potentially the standing forest is worth more than the temporary economic benefits derived from its  destruction by activities such as logging, cattle ranching, agriculture and mining, the reality is that in Brazil and other countries that are home to forests there are no academic institutions that offer expertise in Rainforest Business and specialized training in the forest business. The RCBS was conceived to fill this gap.

The project originated at the University of São Paulo’s Institute of Advanced Studies with “Amazon Transformation: History and Perspectives”, a research group led by Ms. Koch-Weser. On February 21st, she led a comprehensive all-day discussion of the RCBS project at the University of São Paulo with some thirty senior Brazilian experts from academia, government, multilateral agencies, as well as non-governmental organizations. The May 15th roundtable will bring together a similar group of experts from the United States.


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