Brazilian Footballer to Help Protect Amazon

04 September 2015 | World Wildlife Fund News Release

Ahead of tomorrow’s Amazon Day (5th September 2015), top football player Neymar Jr is joining with WWF to warn the public about increasing threats to the Amazon rainforest and ask governments, businesses and individuals to do more to preserve it for future generations.

The Amazon is vital to the health and prosperity of Brazil and nations around the world. It’s a source of amazing biodiversity, helping to regulate the climate by soaking up CO2 and generating rainfall, and provides a living for millions of people. But this precious resource is under threat – WWF estimates that more than a quarter of the Amazon biome will be without trees by 2030 if the current rate of deforestation continues.

Brazilian national and FC Barcelona football player Neymar Jr said: “I think it is the duty of all Brazilians and every human being who admires the Amazon to take care of our forests. We need to give back to nature all that she has given us, and this act of preservation can help bring us together. Me and my Institute are supporting Amazon Day because we care about the future of our children.”

This initiative is part of several actions undertaken by WWF to highlight how vital the Amazon is to Brazilians and the rest of the world.

Today WWF-UK has released a new animated video illustrating the importance of the world’s largest rainforest which is home to 30 million people, hundreds of thousands of incredible species and one of the most important ecosystems in the world.

Sarah Hutchison, Brazil and Amazon Regional Manager at WWF-UK said: “Right now, protected areas in Brazil are at risk. Proposed political reforms in Brazil could open up protected areas and indigenous territories to mining, dams and other large-scale infrastructure risking the future of the rainforest and the people who rely on it. The Amazon is truly spectacular and we need to protect it. That’s why we’re urging the nation to join Brazil in celebrating Amazon Day tomorrow.”

In addition to the new video, WWF-UK has also created a new photo gallery of some of Brazil’s incredible protected areas.

Join in the celebration with #VivaAmazonia

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Editor’s notes

As part of the partnership with WWF-Brazil, Neymar Jr. Project Institute will receive educational materials focused on environmental issues and its educators will be trained in their use. In addition, lectures will be held for the community in the area where the Institute is located, in Praia Grande municipality (SP). Topics that are important for local environmental conservation and improving the quality of life – such as water, climate change, and the ecological footprint, amongst others – will be presented.

Please view new Amazon film here.

Please view the photo gallery here. If prompted please enter password: Amazon

The areas featured in the gallery are:

Serra do Pardo National Park: The park takes its name from the beautiful mountain range that accompanies the course of the Pardo River. The park is very diverse and is home to a large numbers of endemic species. It was a region of rubber tapping and still is home to some traditional communities of former rubber tappers.
Juruena National Park: this park is the size of Israel and contains a wealth of freshwater resources. In 2014 it was threatened with the construction of large dams. Following a WWF campaign, the plans to build the dams were dropped by the Brazilian Government
Tumucumaque Mountains National Park: Tumucumaque is the world’s largest tropical forest protected area, the size of Switzerland. Its stunning landscapes are largely uninhabited and of high ecological value. Part of the Guiana Shield, huge granite outcrops tower above the forest.

To find out more about the Amazon please visit our website.

About the Amazon

The Amazon is one of the most valuable natural heritage sites of all humanity and the largest natural reserve in the world. With seven million kilometers, including five and a half million forests, the biome is fundamental to the environmental and climatic balance of the planet and conservation of water resources.

Despite its incalculable importance to the planet – as the habitat of countless animal species, plants and trees, and as a source of food raw materials, forestry, medicines and minerals – the Amazon has been constantly threatened by numerous predatory activities

About Neymar Jr. Project Institute

Neymar Jr. Project Institute is a private non-profit association dedicated to social causes. It has an educational and sports complex in Jardim Glória, Praia Grande, for needy children and their families. All activities are held in the complex located in the area provided by the local government in a 30-year concession system initially, renewable for another 30 years.

The site has 8,400 square meters and serves approximately 2,400 children, ages 7 to 14. The parents and care providers of these children are also served, resulting in approximately 10 thousand people benefitting. The Institute was built with own resources as well as private sponsorship. The activities are supported by contributions that were provided with tax incentives to individuals and legal entities, as well as spontaneous donations. The Institute intends to provide the local community with a space that Neymar Jr. could not enjoy where he grew up.

WWF is one of the world’s largest independent conservation organisations, with more than five million supporters and a global network active in more than one hundred countries. Through our engagement with the public, businesses and government, we focus on safeguarding the natural world, creating solutions to the most serious environmental issues facing our planet, so that people and nature thrive. Find out more about our work, past and present at wwf.org.uk.

For further information, please contact:
Emma Roberts | PR & Personalities Executive | WWF-UK
T: +44 (0)1483 412 429 | M: +44 (0)7771 818 682 | E: eroberts@wwf.org.uk


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