Move to protect biodiversity in Brazil by IFC and UEBT

By Simon Pitman

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Sustainability Brazil

The International Finance Corporation and the Union for Ethical Bio Trade have forged an agreement at the Rio+20 that is likely to affect the sustainable sourcing of cosmetic ingredients in Latin America.

The Amazon basin has proved an increasingly interesting market for the sourcing of natural-based botanical extracts thanks to its wide range of biodiversity and the numerous active and functional properties that have been discovered for a long list of cosmetic applications.

However, the agreement between the two organizations aims to focus on the exploitation of these resources and the threat that over-farming and harvesting poses to the eco system there.

In particular the agreement focuses on environmental conservation by helping to protect and preserve assets and resources that are critical to ensuring sustainable development in poverty-stricken areas such as the Amazon forest, Cerrado savannas and Caatinga drylands.

Partnership formed on the European funding

The partnership has been forged as a $1.9 million program that forms part of IFC’s BioTrade iniative, which has been developed with finance from the Danish and Dutch governments to promote sustainable practices within business models and supply chains, alongside local and regional government strategies.

The two organizations say that the program will focus on providing approaches to protecting the biodiversity and the long-term health and economic success of communities that depend on the such natural resources.

This will be done through the development of verification systems to increase private sector adoption of environmentally friendly sourcing standards, which will bring together key associations, policymakers and players from the cosmetics industry, as well as the pharmaceutical and food industries.

Beraca already big on sustainability in Brazil

The organization says the partnership will focus this work on the Brazil, Peru and Colombia markets. Currently a significant market for the sourcing of ingredients for the cosmetic industry is Brazil, where finished goods players such as Natura and ingredients company Beraca are big players.

In particular Beraca was awarded membership to the UEBT back in 2010 for its sustainable work in sourcing botanical materials throughout Brazil. The membership means Beraca will undergo a thorough auditing processing over the course of five years to ensure it sustains its practices.

IFC Brazil Country Manager Loy Pires stated his belief that the program illustrates the importance of businesses taking action toward creating a more sustainable future to ensure that both businesses and communities operating in these areas could ensure their livelihoods in the long-term.

“The private and public sectors need to work hand-in-hand to promote sustainable development for the benefit of communities and businesses, and to safeguard the environment’s natural assets for future generations,”​ Pires said.

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