By Chesney Hearst, Senior Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – On Saturday, August 27th in Manaus, the capital of the state of Amazonas in Brazil, Rock in Rio officially launched its new environmental project, Amazônia Live. According to organizers, goals for the project include planting over one million trees on four hundred hectares of cleared forest area in the Rio Xingu (Xingu River) headwaters.
To mark the launch of the project, Rock in Rio organized a concert on a floating stage on the Rio Negro, a tributary of the Amazon river. Performers included Ivete Sangalo, Plácido Domingo, Andreas Kisser, and the Orquestra Filarmônica Amazonas. The event was broadcast around the world to help draw attention to the cause.
“We are committing today to plant one million trees, but the World Bank has announced another million. We also have additional customers and we can easily get to a total of three million trees planted with investments made by the private sector.”
In addition to reforesting part of the Amazon, the project aims to stimulate the local economy by using seeds provided by the region’s indigenous peoples. Organizers estimate that the project will create approximately fifty jobs and generate approximately R$700,000 in income for the indigenous peoples.
Founded in 1985, since 2001, Rock in Rio in addition to hosting music festivals in Rio de Janeiro and around the world has created and funded various social and environmental projects.