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Q. What is Amazon Fund Privacy Policy?
 

A. Amazon Fund does not share personal information with any third parties. Your information when provided to Amazon Fund will be used only to manage your relationship with Amazon Fund.

Any financial information provided to the Amazon Fund for monetary transactions will not be retained by Amazon Fund after the transaction is completed. This means that you may have to re-enter information later for any new transactions.

We believe that you own your personal information and that it should not be made available without your consent for any third party to use.

If you are 12 years of age or younger, we do not want you to provide any personal information whatsoever to Amazon Fund.


Q. My name is Tom, I teach an Environmental Science class in Montpelier, VT. We are interested in the possibility of buying rain forest to offset our carbon emissions. We will be doing carbon calculations on our greenhouse and the school itself to determine how much acreage would be necessary to achieve carbon neutrality. I read the information on your website and am impressed with the "Preservation Guidelines". Although I personally feel comfortable with your organization managing this fund and agree that native inhabitants MUST be the managers of the forest, what kind of assurance could you provide that the money indeed purchases and preserves rainforest? Also, are you confident that the locals have the resources required to protect the land from rogue timber outfits? What is the relationship between your organization, the preserve, and the Brazilian government? I look forward to hearing from you, and I look forward to preserving rain forest.
 
ANSWER FROM AMAZON FUND (CHUCK CHAMBERLAIN):

Good questions and similar ones that have kept me from supporting some charities plus the concern over having my name and address given to other charities for secondary fund raising. I have been mulling over how someone can independently verify the amounts paid and the amounts dispursed. The AF has committed to no more 5% for AF costs, with the balance to be split between Amazonia Association (Chris Clark's organization at www.Amazonia.org) and a new entity to be established in Brazil to be called Amazon Fund Brazil that will use its funds to secure additional lands to be preserved. The first tract of additional land, the 15,000 acres added to the 450,000 acres already secured by the Amazonia Association, was from personal funds advanced to meet the goals of AF-Brazil and effect this month we will also be advancing Amazonia Association $1,000/month in advance of getting the sponsorships program geared up.

Concerning how to be sure that the funds go where they are supposed to go, there are two ready solutions.

  1. We will add to the AF website a sponsor list with month and year of the sponsorship. That list be able to be sorted by month and year so that anyone can come in and see how many $50 acres were sponsored for any one month. This will enable any sponsor to go to the list to see that their sponsorship ahs been registered. It will also allow Chris to go to the site and see how many $50 sponsorships he should be getting a 47.5% share of for any month. He can also see how much money will be getting set aside for AF-Brazil for new acreage. I will also work on posting on the website a month-end financial report for everyone to see.
  2. Obtain the services of a CPA to audit the books and transaction of AF. This is what I what to see happen and also that the CPA be a volunteer that does not contribute any overhead to AF. We are open to any offers of help in this area.

Concerning your other questions, the locals within Amazonia Association
Have been successful thus far and I expect them to remain successful or at least as successful as possible. There will be some incidental poaching expected on such a large tract of the Amazon but any large scale exploitation should be stoppable. The remoteness of the property and additional resources for Amazonia Association from sources such as AF will only further protect the sponsored acres from exploitation.

To one of my earlier concerns regarding privacy, AF will not share its name and address list with other organizations unless required to do so by law.

Thanks for your questions, they help us to think out our processes.


ANSWER FROM AMAZONIA ASSOCIATION (CHRIS CLARK): Tom you raise interesting and understandable questions which on my part require quite a lengthy response.

Some further information can be seen at www.amazonia.org

I first came here in 1984 as a traveler looking to see some of the Amazon. One of the first places I visited was the Rio Jauaperi. Between then and 1990 I returned every year and visited different parts of the Amazon, but always revisited the Jauaperi. I got to know the people from here and one day in 1990 they asked me if I couldn’t help them as they had no health service or education system for their children. We discussed ways of doing this and hit on the idea of creating the Amazon Association. The idea was to preserve a part of their area which was particularly rich in exchange for looking for funding to improve their standard of living. We all became members of the association and the locals sold their land holdings to it. Since then we have extended the reserve to cover 178.000 hectares and since 2001 we have been working with the Environment Ministry to enlarge the area all the way to where the Rio Jauaperi joins the Rio Negro and also up the parallel Rio Branco. This area is becoming the Reserva Extractivista do Baixo Rio Branco~Rio Jauaperi. It is in its final stages of implementation and I am in constant contact with Marina Silva and Carlos Vicente, the environmment minister and her vice, both in personal meetings and through a mutual friend who tells me that the decree now only awaits the signature of president Lula to become effective.
This is being financed by the ARPA programe, Amazon Region Protected Areas of the G7 Pilot Project for the Amazon. Our area falls into the planned Central Amazonian Ecological Corridor being financed by the world bank. Our partners in this project are IBAMA, the Brazilian Environment Institute, CNPT, The National Centre for Traditional Populations and the Roraima Rural workers Union, as well as the local communities which will become part of the new reserve.

We are basically a local brazilian organisation but thanks to international contacts the Amazon Association now also exists in Italy and Denmark. Our area is protected by the local people who are the owners and beneficiaries. The payback is having one of the most intact and biodiversity rich parts of the Amazon where film makers (most recently the Cousteau Society), photographers, researchers and supporters come to work and see the area and the people. Our aim is now to extend the benefits enjoyed by the people here to the other villages which will become part of the new Extractivist reserve, leaving them as owners and guardians of the forest so that the less intact areas outside of ours can return to a state similar to here.

We have been doing this for fifteen years now and believe we are on the right track.

Of course we also have an accountant in Manaus and one in Italy but perhaps for the Amazon Fund project we should establish separate accounting once it effectively starts up.

Clearly we are not discussing purchase of land, but sponsorship for its preservation, given to the local people who continue to own the land through our association, the deal with the Brazilian government or Amazon Fund Brazil. They must work and guarantee its protection and our experience demonstrates that given decent standards of living they are very happy to do that.

 
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