Kaieteur Falls in Guyana, South America is 4x higher than Niagara Falls and twice the height of Victoria Falls – by Allan Hopkins (Flickr-CC)

An agreement signed May 22 will commit $215 million for expanded protection of the Amazon rainforest.

The move will guarantee funds for the next 25 years to ensure long-term protection of the world’s largest network of protected areas over more than a quarter million square miles (60 million hectares) of the Amazon rainforest.

The Amazon Region Protected Areas program (ARPA), which aims to permanently protect 15 percent of the Amazon, an area equivalent to the size of Spain, will receive money from the Brazilian government, WWF and other partners.

“We convened leading financial thinkers and philanthropic partners to create a plan for a first-of-its-kind bridge fund to ensure ARPA’s inspiring success continues,” said Carter Roberts, president and CEO of WWF-US.

ARPA is considered the single largest tropical forest conservation program in history. Created in 2002,  and coordinated by Brazilian Ministry of Environment it is a joint effort by Brazil’s federal government, regional state agencies, private institutions and civil society.

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