The Brazilian State of Bahia will make its environmental management system more efficient and effective, contributing to the conservation and sustainable use of water and other natural resources, with help from a US$10 million loan approved by the Inter-American Development Bank.
The local government will provide $6.7 million in local counterpart funds. The program has two components. The first will strengthen planning and management capacity of the State of Bahia Environment Secretariat. The second aims to make conservation more effective in priority protected areas, reversing the degradation of water resources that supply Salvador's metropolitan region, and enhancing measures to preserve the state’s eastern watersheds.
Results expected from the four-year program include:
- Four protected areas (Bacia do Cobre–São Bartolomeu, Joanes–Ipitanga, Lago Pedra do Cavalo, and Lagoa Encantada e Rio Almada) will implement environmental management plans and pilot projects to rehabilitate degraded locations.
- All economic activities in these areas will be brought under environmental control; environmental licenses, as well as water and forest use permits will be put under an integrated, standardized set of environmental management processes.
- Recovery will be underway in at least 40 percent of the 255,000 hectares of protected areas subject to degradation processes, such as deforestation, soil erosion, and inadequate waste disposal.
- A State Environmental Information System will be developed and implemented, and the Secretariat will adopt a set of integrated instruments and rules for planning, environmental control, and natural resource management.
- Six hundred municipal workers will be trained on joint environmental management, and 340 members of the protected areas' management councils will receive training in environmental problem identification and decision-making.
- All environmental licenses and permits for water and forest resources use will be issued within established time limits.
- The time to register and respond to reports of infractions and complaints in the protected areas will be cut by half and beneficiaries' satisfaction will increase by 50 percent.
The loan is for a 20-year term, with a four-year grace period and a LIBOR-based interest rate.