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  • Andre Vienna, executive Director of Origene farm, left, José Júlio Eduardo Chagas, Mayor of Pedro Afonso, Governor Carlos Henrique Gaguim, of Tocantins, and Governor John Lynch meet in Concord Wednesday.

    Photo by eduardo de Oliveira

  • Governor Carlos Henrique Gaguim, of Tocantins, with Gov. John Lynch.

    Photo by Eduardo de Oliveira
Thursday, December 10, 2009

NH, Brazilian state in accord on sustainability

Gov. John Lynch signed an agreement Wednesday with a Brazilian governor to share new sustainable technologies.

Lynch welcomed Carlos Henrique Amorim, governor of Tocantins, Brazil, and a group of Brazilian officials to the Statehouse to collaborate on the “Sister States” deal.

“We plan to work together,” Lynch said. “They obviously have many assets and resources in their state that we have in our state. We can collaborate, which ultimately would mean job creation.”

According to New Hampshire’s International Trade Resources Center, Brazil is the state’s 16th strongest business partner, out of 215 nations. The 20-year-old state of Tocantins in central Brazil has a vast range of natural resources and a relatively relaxed set of business regulations. TV aficionados may recognize Tocantins as the shooting locale for the 18th edition of CBS’s “Survivor.”

The deal means Tocantins and New Hampshire will share work on sustainability and serve as a ground to put into practice several environmental projects envisioned by Milford resident Craig Cassarino.

“As everybody gets an understanding of what Tocantins is, we will figure out how we can take the hard work of New Hampshire people and transfer it as projects that can create jobs here, too,” said Cassarino, an environmental businessman who works at Leonardo Technologies Inc. in Bedford.

Cassarino said one of the projects is assisting the mayor of Pedro Afonso, Jose Julio Eduardo Chagas, with development of an integrated waste management plant in the city. Cassarino will provide Chagas with American technology to help Pedro Afonso, a city with about 10,000 habitants close to the Amazon jungle, grow in a self-sustainable fashion.

For Chagas, improving waste management is a high priority.

“Transferring recycling technology is fundamental because trash collecting is a serious municipal problem not only in our city but all over the state,” Chagas said.

The mayor also highlighted the academic arm of the Sister States partnership, as his own city is introducing a new elementary school course on environmental education.

“The world is breathing the environmental debates. When we add an environmental course to the curricula, we’re helping to educate a more conscious citizen,” he said.

The Tocantins committee will meet with University of Massachusetts officials this morning to talk about an “EcoTourism” course UNH is creating, which will include visits to Tocantins by American students.

“Today, the ecotourism is a major source of job creation, and partnering it with academia will help us develop a more responsible resident, who will also watch for the self-sustainable growth of their state,” said Julio Cesar Rezende, owner of Origene, a 100,000-acre farm in Brazil that, under his leadership, developed a self-sustainable model.

For Rezende, New Hampshire and Tocantins are complimentary states. For instance, Origene already utilizes solar panels and local biomass to power the farm’s machinery, which are some of the reasons why Cassarino picked the farm to be the breathing ground for many of his projects.

“We can minimize men’s impact on nature, while stimulating the use of new technologies. On the biotechnology field, Tocantins has a lot to offer New Hampshire, and the economic gains will be plenty for both sides,” Rezende said.

The Tocantins committee also toured the Statehouse, and first lady Roseane Rodrigues Pereira Amorim was surprised to learn New Hampshire has 400 state representatives and each makes $100 a year.

“Just that!” Amorim exclaimed.

In an exclusive interview with The Telegraph, Carlos Henrique Amorim said it was “in New Hampshire that everything started in the United States.”

“We can feel that the New Hampshire people love their own soil, and their slogan ‘Live free or Die’ would fit to our state. Because all we want is to offer the chance of prosperity to all the people who picked Tocantins as their home,” he said.

Eduardo de Oliveira can be reached at eduardo.ao@hotmail.com.