Green Cities Program Advance in Sao Paulo, Brazil

The Sao Paulo State government launched last April a plan with 21 "strategic environmental projects" to shift that province, which is Brazil's economic epicenter, in a greener direction. Good news is that recently one of those projects is coming to reality: the Green Cities plan, which 393 out of 645 of the province municipalities have signed to, The Temas Blog informed. By this plan, municipalities have to commit to adopt 10 measures in order to control and reduce environmental issues. "With this project, the environmental cause is now part of the State's political agenda", said Jose Serra, Sao Paulo's governor (picture). The 10 steps program of the Green Cities plan includes:

Via The Temas Blog-The collection and treatment of all household sewage by 2010,
-Adoption of a solid waste management policy that promotes recycling,
-The Participation in the recovery of river and lakes vegetation program,
-Implementation of a tree planting program and maintain municipal green areas,
-The establishment of an environmental education program in municipal schools,
-Definition of a program to reduce the use of wood from the Amazon in civil construction and the leasing of construction permits that incorporate sustainable criteria,
-The implementation of a program to reduce water waste,
-A commitment to help government to control greenhouse-gases emissions,
-The conformation of an entity within the municipal government responsible for the protection of the environment (cities with more than 100,000 inhabitants), and
-Constitution of a Municipal Environment Council to ensure the participation of the scientific community, civil society and NGOs with a local focus.

Sao Paulo's "21 Strategic Environmental Projects" are:
-The investigation of how the State might look in 2020,
-A set of regulations to charge large water consumers (whose revenues will be used for water management programs),
-A zero tolerance policy for deforestation with restriction of licensing for some environmental projects and stronger mitigation measures along with punishing for environmental crimes,
-An eco-tourism stimulation plan to get citizens more involved in environmental issues,
-Sewage treatment programs in which municipalities with insufficient treated sewage will be forced to adjust their conduct to standards,
-An agreement with sugar-cane-for-ethanol farmers in order to ensure their good practices (since not all the practices involved are green),
-A system to protect endangered wildlife,
-A project to provide the State's conservation units with management plans,
-The creation of an environmental-projects portfolio for private investors to take part in,
-A reformation of the environmental licensing of the State with a modernized agency that would have control over all state-level issues,
-Environmental management and control for the northern coastline of the State (which has rapidly growing population),
-A plan to reduce the amount of trash and pollutants with aim to eliminate open-air dumps, reduce the amount of household waste and stimulate recycling,
-The protection of key water reservoirs,
-A project to recover the State's rivers and lakes' vegetation (mata ciliar),
-The Green Cities program (above), to give cities resources and control them in the implementation of green measures with a "Green City" certification (which will give them priority in State assistance and funds for environmental projects),
-Community projects to make people take action with awareness campaigns,
-The promotion of scientific research about environmental issues,
-A reform in the State administration itself to make it more efficient,
-The plan "Sao Paulo Breathes", which will aim to control and reduce pollution standards,
-A plan called "Sao Paulo Friend of the Amazon", which will promote the use of only certified wood products by the State, and
-A protection plan for Serra do Mar, which is a mountain range that stands by Sao Paulo's coastline and is threatened by new (illegal) inhabitants.

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::Sao Paulo's Green Cities Program Launched ::Serra's 21 Strategic Environmental Projects for São Paulo

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