Brazil goes green

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The occasion of World Environment Day on Saturday 5 June 2010 has been a catalyst for increased discussion concerning environmental sustainability in relation to 2014 FIFA World Cup and Rio 2016 preparations, writes Simon Tarmo.

Overall, there are already 86 'environmental' projects approved and underway as part of 2014 FIFA World Cup planning, according to the federal government's special World Cup Environmental Chamber: 12 of these involve stadia, 53 urban mobility, 14 airports and seven involve ports. These incorporate investments of over R$24bn, most of this falling within the local and state government spheres. Furthermore, additional Rio 2016 projects are also in the planning. A key area of debate centres on whether the federal government should now provide special tax incentives for such projects to ensure their timely completion and adherence to specific standards, plus to encourage additional initiatives. The federal and state governments are also currently addressing environmental licensing procedures and how the projects will be regulated. On a more specific note, calls for world–class water saving and reuse technologies in all stadia and other relevant event infrastructure are getting louder, as the country looks to ensure that its fortunate position as the world's main holder of potable water (13%) is taken advantage of and not left vulnerable to negative PR and media coverage. For the 2014 FIFA World Cup, although all stadium projects are still at best in the early construction phases, the designs have incorporated some type of water strategy, some more sophisticated than others, and it is now Brazil's tourism infrastructure, namely its hotel and accommodation sector, that is drawing the attention of environmental groups and commentators. In particular, the existing lack of formal requirements governing water use by accommodation providers is currently under the spotlight, given that this will be one of the most noticeable signs of environmental sustainability for the millions of tourists flooding into the country over the coming years. Meanwhile, Brazil's National Development Bank (BNDES) has made an eye–catching prediction that around $1. 3 trillion Brazilian reals will be invested in the country over the next three years, well over 50% more than the amount invested from 2005 to 2008 (R$856b). The new research forecasts significantly increased investments in industry, infrastructure and building developments, a major part of which is being driven by FIFA World Cup 2014 and Rio 2016 preparations. The study, which covers the period 2010–2013, includes all types of investments, public and private, and not just those in which the BNDES will assist with finance. About Simon TarmoA journalist from Sydney, Australia, and co–founder of industry journal Australian Sponsorship News, Simon Tarmo now lives in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. Having worked on a range of writing, research and trade projects across a number of industries including sport, entertainment and wine, he is currently focusing on business opportunities involving the 2014 World Cup and Rio 2016 in Brazil. With fluent Portuguese language skills, he has an extensive network of contacts throughout Brazil and can advise and assist foreign groups doing business in the country. More details http://simontarmo. blogspot. com/ ~ Simon Tarmo+55 31 9196 0069simon@pando. com. auhttp://simontarmo. blogspot. com/

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