Dear Mrs. Minister Tereza Cristina,
The Brazilian Coalition on Climate, Forests and Agriculture recognizes the effort from the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Supply (MAPA) and Deputy Zé Silva, rapporteur of the Provisional Measure (MP) 910/2019, in improving the original document of the MP 910/2019. We stress the progress of the current report, presented on May 4, 2020, to not change the timeline currently in place, since this decision strengthens the Forest Code. It leads to stopping the cycle of periodically postponing the deadline to legalize land occupation and, therefore, sends a strong message to invaders that this situation can no longer repeat or continue.
However, the current report exacerbates still unsolved problems, such as the waiver of an in-person inspection for occupations of up to 15 fiscal modules. The proposal presented by the Coalition recommends the waiver of an in-person inspection of properties of up to four fiscal modules, which would solve the situation of 102,000 (95% of the total) private properties without titles registered with INCRA. The increase of self-declaration from 4 to 15 fiscal modules increases the area to be provided by 52% (from 5.4 million hectares to 8.4 million hectares), with only 4,898 additional landholders.
We did not find technical reasons for any of the interested parties for this expansion in only 4.5% of the properties since the proposal sent by the Coalition already contemplates small landholders. It is precisely in this small percentage of properties that lies the higher risk of the MP becoming a stimulus to land grabbing.
Besides, although the current report has removed the definition of an environmental infraction, it establishes that only properties under seizure or environmental violation after the depletion of administrative procedures are subject to mandatory inspection. Also, the MP proposes to exonerate the land ownership agency with remote mechanisms. Still, it does not take into consideration that the same remote instruments - that in MAPA's opinion are enough to determine land occupation and proper use - are also used to determine illegal deforestation. We suggest that the MP contemplates the use of these tools to verify illegalities.
We hope that the Ministry of Agriculture and Congress can accept our latest contributions. The approval of this MP with a waiver of inspections limited to properties with up to 4 fiscal modules and the requirement of compliance with environmental laws will promote a vital land ownership legalization policy towards the sustainable future of land use. This type of policy is the one embraced by the most diverse sectors of society during the sensitive moment in which the country deserves to give good news and make a tremendous socio-economic and environmental commitment to the world. It would be a real political intelligence and win-win move, as well as an eternal legacy from the government.
Lastly, we suggest that, from a possible approval of this MP 910 focusing exclusively on small owners, a new process of discussion on land ownership legalization legislation for medium landowners begin. The Brazilian Coalition will be available to contribute to this process.
André Guimarães – Coalition’s Co-Facilitator and Executive-Director of the Amazon Environmental Research Institute (IPAM)
Marcello Brito – Coalition’s Co-Facilitator and President of the Board of Directors of the Brazilian Agribusiness Association (Abag)
Dear leaders of the Brazilian Legislative Branch,
Brazil is urging to solve a deadlock that has been getting worse over the decades: landownership legalization. This is an essential step to eliminate conflicts, bring legal security, increase investments and offer economic inclusion to many rural producers. Therefore, landownership legalization is a paramount condition to the economic, social and environmental development of the country.
That said, Brazilian Coalition on Climate, Forests and Agriculture – a movement that gathers more than 200 representatives from the agribusiness, third sector and academia – requests you that the Provisional Measure (MP) 910/2019 does not get placed on the calendar to vote.
This MP was presented as a supposed solution to the landownership challenge. However, it has severe impacts on combating illegality, especially in combating land grabbing and the consequent growth of illegal deforestation and agrarian distress.
The MP 910/2019 goes in the opposite direction of good land management since it shows invaders that crime has no consequence. Who would be interested in this mistake? In a position paper about the MP 910, the Coalition has detailed this and other risks from this measure.
Due to this concern, the Coalition has started a dialogue with the Ministry of Agriculture and the National Institute for Colonization and Agrarian Reform (Incra) to find a content for the MP 910 that would allow to 1) take advantage and improve positive actions, such as the use of technology in the landownership legalization process; and 2) correct severe flaws of the MP 910 based on data and technical information. This dialogue continues and we have the hope that our contributions will be heard and followed by the Executive Branch.
Thus, we warn that MP 910’s current content, presently with the Congress, concerns the members of the Coalition, as it does not resonate with important names and organizations from the sectors of our economy.
We believe that it is necessary to think of a new proposal for the landownership challenge, one that contemplates a wide debate among the diverse sectors of society and still considers the necessary economic recovery post-COVID-19 pandemic, especially in rural areas with a specific focus on family farming and communities arrangements. National Congress members know they can rely on all the support and knowledge of our network to build a solution capable of: using the most modern technology available, enforcing existing laws, benefiting good land occupants, and bringing security and investments to the country.
André Guimarães – Coalition’s Co-Facilitator and Executive-Director of the Amazon Environmental Research Institute (IPAM)
Marcello Brito – Coalition’s Co-Facilitator and President of the Board of Directors of the Brazilian Agribusiness Association (Abag)
The organizations, collectives and signatory networks of this letter, members and partners of the Rede de Advocacy Colaborativo (RAC), Observatório do Clima (OC), Brazilian Coalition on Climate, Forests and Agriculture, Observatório do Código Florestal (OCF) and GT Infraestrutura require from the President of the Federal Senate and the National Congress, Senator Davi Alcolumbre, to suspend the consideration and vote of polemic matters of high public interest and that can cause harmful effects on the environment, the economy and to the Brazilian society while the restriction of access to the Senate remains, except for urgent matters related with confronting the crisis associated with the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to data from the Ministry of Health, the new coronavirus responsible for the transmission of the respiratory syndrome COVID-19 has already caused more than 290 infections in all national territory. This week two deaths caused by this virus, in São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, have been confirmed. Since the World Health Organization (WHO) has declared coronavirus outbreak a pandemic, on March 11, a series of recommendations have been issued by health surveillance agencies and other public health agencies to avoid the exponential increase of the contamination and a possible overburden of the health system.
Because of this, several organizations, public agencies and companies have suspended employees’ in-person work and public events for the next weeks – the Chamber of Deputies itself has canceled their schedules and significantly restricted access of citizens to their facilities, and many Senate sessions are being canceled since this Monday (17). Also, the dismissal of senators above 65 years of age indicates that about 1/3 of the representatives of the House will be apart from the main debates that continue this week.
As suspensions or confirmations of deliberative sessions (even when online) are occurring in real-time and some of them during session times, the country is at serious risk of watching highly important topics for our citizenship (fundamental and inalienable rights) being voted by the Parliament with an extremely low quorum and under no transparent and participative public debate.
Among the matters of very relevant national public interest which can be voted at any time, we highlight the Provisional Measure (MPV) 910/2019, about land ownership legalization across Brazil. This MPV notably stimulates and awards land grabbers, criminals and environmental offenders, not only, but above all in the Amazon, and brings easiness, incentives, amnesties, and unacceptable discounts to acquire the title of land illegally occupied. According to studies from Esalq/USP and UFMG, 43 million hectares of public land (equivalent to the states of São Paulo and Paraná combined) will be affected by the rules of this MPV in Legal Amazon alone, and 35% of all deforestation between 2018 and 2019 has occurred precisely in this area.
In this regard, we remember the commitment made by you, Senator Alcolumbre, during the Conference of the Parties on Climate Change (COP 25) in Madrid, in December of 2019, to not allow the advancement – in the Chamber of Deputies – of legislative measures involving setbacks in environmental protection norms and impacts on traditional populations.
During COP 25, you have explicitly stated:
“We will not accept backtracks in environmental policy. We will not consider matters that can threaten forests and traditional peoples”.
Matters such as these, of extreme relevance and impact to national public heritage, need to be discussed widely and democratically, without any restrictions of entry of people (citizens and society organizations), parliamentarians, political parties, leaderships and assistances of the Legislative House, and with wide and total transparency and participation of civil society.
Brasília, March 17, 2020.
Sign this letter,
- Associação dos Povos Indigenas do Brasil (APIB)
- Campanha Nacional pelo Direito à Educação
- Coalizao Não ao Fracking Brasil (COESUS)
- Conselho Nacional dos Seringueiros (CNS)
- Conselho Nacional de Populações Extrativistas
- FBOMS Fórum Brasileiro de ONGs e movimentos sociais para desenvolvimento e meio ambiente
- FORUM de Mudanças Climáticas e Justiça Social
- GT Infraestrutura na Amazônia
- Observatorio do Clima (OC)
- Observatório do Carvão Mineral (OCM)
- Observatorio do Código Florestal (OCF)
- Observatório do Petróleo e Gás (OPG)
- Rede Grupo de Trabalho Amazônico (GTA)
- Rede de ONGs da Mata Atlantica (RMA)
- Amigos da Terra - Amazônia Brasileira
- APREC Ecossistemas Costeiros
- Artigo 19
- ASCEMA Nacional
- Associação Mineira de Defesa do Ambiente (AMDA)
- Associação para a Gestão Socioambiental do Triângulo Mineiro (Anga)
- Clímax Brasil
- Conectas Direitos Humanos
- Fundación Avina
- Fundação Grupo Esquel Brasil
- Fundação SOS Mata Atlântica
- Gestos - Soropositividade, Comunicação e Gênero
- Greenpeace Brasil
- Hivos - Instituto Humanista para Cooperação e Desenvolvimento
- ICLEI América do Sul
- Iniciativa Verde
- Instituto Akatu
- Instituto BVRio
- Instituto Ethos de Empresas e Responsabilidade Social
- Instituto Sociedade, População e Natureza (ISPN)
- Instituto Centro de Vida (ICV)
- Instituto Democracia e Sustentabilidade - IDS
- Instituto de Estudos Ambientais Mayer Natura
- Instituto de Estudos Socioeconômicos (INESC)
- Instituto Energia e Meio Ambiente (IEMA)
- Instituto Internacional Arapyara
- Instituto Internacional de Educação para o Brasil (IEB)
- Instituto de Pesquisa Ambiental da Amazônia (Ipam)
- Instituto de Pesquisas Ecológicas (IPÊ)
- Instituto Socioambiental (ISA)
- International Rivers Network (IRN)
- Instituto de Políticas de Transporte Sustentável (ITDP Brasil)
- Open Knowledge Brasil
- Projeto Saúde & Alegria
- Sociedade de Pesquisa em Vida Selvagem é Educação Ambiental (SPVS)
- SOS Amazônia
- Uma gota no Oceano
- WWF - Brasil
The Brazilian Coalition on Climate, Forests and Agriculture – which gathers more than 200 representatives, of agribusiness, environmental defense entities and academia, that seek to promote the conservation and sustainable land use in the country – understands that the land ownership legalization of public lands occupied for decades is an essential step towards eliminating conflicts, providing legal security, allowing the economic inclusion of rural producers, promoting social justice, and allowing good governance in Brazilian territory. Land ownership legalization also promotes efficient land use, stimulates owners to do long-term investments, and allows the identification and punishment of those responsible for environmental infractions.
However, instead of proposing measures to update and improve the management of land ownership bodies in order to promote an efficient legalization that respects safeguards, the government has chosen to present Provisional Measure 910 of 2019 (MP 910) to the Congress. This measure regards “land ownership legalization of occupations located in areas of the Brazilian Federal Government.”
The changes in current legislation promoted by this Provisional Measure go in the opposite direction of what is expected in the process of land ownership legalization in the country, especially in the Amazon. By authorizing that recent illegal occupations (until December of 2018) are legalized, including the occupation of large areas (up to 2,500 hectares), MP 910 is validating criminal practices of land grabbing and stimulating its occurrence in the future. It is sending criminal groups the clear message that crime pays off.
The justification presented by the Federal Government to extend the deadline from 2008 to 2014 or 2018 has no foundation since it disregards Forest Code’s time marker for environmental regularizations, which is July 22, 2008¹. Also, the Provisional Measure intends to give more advantages to those who already received the property title but haven’t been paying what they owe for the land or are not compliant with the obligations imposed. In predicting soft billing rules for defaulting owners and changing once more renegotiation deadlines, the provisional measure discredits that such rules will continue to exist or be enforced. This stimulates more defaulting and rural violence.
Another serious problem is the stimulation of public land grabbing generated by the expectation of obtaining titles for recently occupied areas and through the trade of lands below market value. The illegal expansion over public lands means a loss of over 70 billion reais to public funds². MP 910 practically annuls the possibility of stopping the expansion of the agricultural frontier over native vegetation areas. Currently that is a very serious problem. According to MapBiomas, more than 90% of the deforestation happening in the Amazon is illegal. Also, according to data from the Amazon Environmental Research Institute (IPAM), 35% of the deforestation in the Amazon (2018-19) occurred in public lands subjected to land grabbing³. The profitability of the invasion business, deforestation, and the trade of public lands will continue to induce a disorderly expansion, one without agronomic or environmental reasonability, based on power, and not following the best project for land use. In the short term, this scenario will drive away investors and buyers of our agricultural commodities⁴, and, in the medium and long term, it will create problems to agricultural production by interrupting natural cycles that guarantee rainfall in most of the country. Therefore, in addition to the agricultural sector itself, it harms Brazilian society as a whole.
In extending titling by self-declaration to properties of up to 15 fiscal modules – without the need for an inspection by public authorities – MP 910 will facilitate fraud and increase land ownership conflicts. The example of the Rural Environmental Registry (CAR), which is self-declared and encompasses more than 90% of rural properties in the country, shows what can happen if this alteration is approved: 95% of registered properties present some kind of overlap with other properties⁵. Therefore, to promote titling without an inspection, in this scenario, will aggravate the current situation. Tools such as the use of satellite images are not able to verify who is promoting the occupation, or if the occupation is tame and peaceful. According to the Tribunal de Contas da União (2014)⁶, the Brazilian federal accountability office, although occupations above 4 fiscal modules represent only 4% of all the properties titled by the Program Legal Land, they account for 30% of all titled area.
For these reasons, we understand that MP 910 cannot be approved as it is written. The changes it brings do not help land ownership legalization and the proper use of the Brazilian territory, but lead to an increase in land grabbing and the speculative deforestation associated with it.
For this reason, we consider that it is essential to guarantee the following:
a) Deadlines to regulate public land ownership are not altered, maintaining, at least, the same as the one of the Forest Code – July 22, 2008;
b) The possibility of legalization without the need of inspection is maintained only for the occupation of areas of up to 4 fiscal modules and mandatory inspections are determined for all properties in which the CAR is: i) canceled, or ii) with partial or total overlap with another registered property;
c) Before the legalization of land ownership of areas with deforestation, the legality of such deforestation has to be proved and, in case it is illegal, regardless of previous sanctions, the legalization can only occur after inspection. Besides, they will need to adhere to the Environmental Regularization Program (PRA), in which case, the title will have to be issued with conditions regarding the implementation of the PRA;
d) The deadline for defaulter renegotiation is not extended, maintaining this possibility only to titles issued until December 22, 2016, as it is established in the recently approved Federal Law 13.465/17. Also, in default cases, the rules of debt execution predicted by the Central Bank are applied, with the execution after 90 days of default of only one installment.
About the Brazilian Coalition
The Brazilian Coalition on Climate, Forests and Agriculture is a multisectoral movement that was established with the goal of proposing actions and influencing public policies that would lead to the development of a low carbon economy, with the creation of quality jobs, stimulus to innovation and Brazilian global competitiveness, and generation and distribution of wealth for the whole society. More than 200 companies, businesses associations, research centers and civil society organizations have joined the Brazilian Coalition - coalizaobr.com.br/en
¹ CHIAVARI, Joana; LOPES, Cristina Leme. Nota Técnica. Medida provisória recompensa atividades criminosas: Análise da MP 910/2019 que altera o marco legal da regularização fundiária de ocupações em terras públicas federais. Rio de Janeiro: Climate Policy Initiative, 2020.
² BRITO, Brenda et al. Stimulus for land grabbing and deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon. Environmental Research Letters, v.14, n.6, p.064018, 2019
³ Available at: https://ipam.org.br/35-do-desmatamento-na-amazonia-e-grilagem-indica-analise-do-ipam/
⁴ Available at: https://www1.folha.uol.com.br/mercado/2019/12/investidores-boicotam-o-brasil-por-preocupacoes-com-desmatamento-na-amazonia.shtml
⁵ SPAROVECK, G. et alii. Nota Técnica preliminar sobre o anúncio de Medida Provisória de regularização fundiária autodeclarada.
⁶ TRIBUNAL DE CONTAS DA UNIÃO. Relatório de Auditoria de Conformidade no Programa Terra Legal Amazônia, TC 015.859/2014-2, Fiscalização 402/2014, Relator: Ministro Weder de Oliveira.
On December 3rd, 2019, the Brazilian Coalition on Climate, Forests and Agriculture sent an email to the office of the Minister of the Environment with the suggestion of a strategic agenda to implement the proposals of the movement.
The agenda was created based on converging topics between the Ministry of the Environment (MMA) and the Brazilian Coalition, identified in a hearing that occurred on October 22th, 2019, with the participation of some members of the movement and the Minister.
Since the Minister expressed interest in knowing more about the specific actions supported by the Coalition, we forwarded to his office the proposals below. This reinforced the movement’s interest in keeping a dialogue with MMA and was a way of suggesting the most urgent actions to be implemented. In addition to MMA, the proposals also regard the Ministries of Economy and Agriculture.
See the complete document below:
STRATEGIC AGENDA PROPOSED BY THE BRAZILIAN COALITION TO THE
MINISTRIES OF ENVIRONMENT, AGRICULTURE, AND ECONOMY
FOUNDATION OF THE BRAZILIAN COALITION TO HAVE A DIALOGUE WITH THE GOVERNMENT
The Brazilian Coalition on Climate, Forests and Agriculture gathers more than 200 representatives of agribusiness, environmental defense entities, and academia that seek to promote the sustainable use of the land in the country. The reunion of these diverse sectors has as its foundation dialogue and collective participation around common goals. The Brazilian Coalition defends policies and economic incentives that seize Brazil’s comparative advantages and place the country as a global player of a new development model, in which agricultural production and environmental conservation move together, side by side.
Over its almost five years of existence, the Brazilian Coalition has always pursued the establishment of a bridge of dialogue with the Executive, Legislative, and Judiciary powers, focusing on a climate, forests, and agriculture policy.
The following premises guide the dialogue between the Brazilian Coalition with these powers:
• Balance of services to all sectors of society (private, third sector, and academia);
• Strengthening of participation spaces in public policies to contribute to governmental decisions;
• Opening of the Brazilian government to dialogue and transparency regarding its commitments.
Given the current crisis scenario in the Amazon, the response of the State and Brazilian society is urgent to safeguard our heritage and recover the country’s reputation with investors and the market. This response should have the reduction of deforestation and the improvement of the business environment for sustainable production as its final goal. For this reason, the Brazilian Coalition proposes an initial strategic agenda to the Brazilian government to stop deforestation, organize national territory (by land ownership legalization and Ecological-Economic Zoning), and to create the necessary incentives for the sustainable use of the land, based on the economic value of forests and bioeconomy.
The strategic agenda below is structured in four lines of action that are considered a priority at the present moment, but it does not lessen the importance of other actions proposed by the Brazilian Coalition in the documents available at the website (coalizaobr.com.br/en).
ILLEGAL DEFORESTATION AND LAND OWNERSHIP LEGALIZATION
According to data from Mapbiomas, most of the deforestation in Brazil is a result of illegal activities. The country needs to establish implementation means to meet its commitments, according to NDC’s climate goals, internationally recognized as one of the most ambitious among developing countries. It is necessary to adopt an assertive and effective attitude regarding the problem and put into practice policies and strategies that allow fighting illegality in all its dimensions.
Illegal deforestation is also associated with the complex challenges of land ownership legalization and land-use planning in Brazil. These challenges need to be addressed by aiming to consolidate a land-use model that guarantees legal security for investments, traditional communities, and biodiversity conservation.
Urgent actions to fight illegal deforestation and solve land ownership legalization:
• Support Amazon’s Task Force, created on August 22th, 2018, by the Federal Public Ministry, by allocating exclusively dedicated prosecutors, more part-time dedicated prosecutors, and expanding support staff.
• Install a task force to promote the destination of the 65 million hectares of undesignated public forests in existence in the Amazon for conservation and sustainable use.
• Suspend access to credit and support of land ownership legalization to all properties identified with illegal deforestation based on data from Mapbiomas and INPE.
• Establish a National Task Force involving Justice, the Executive and Legislative Powers and Public Prosecution to promote the resolution of land ownership conflicts, prioritizing areas of rural violence and those where grabbing of public lands and/or deforestation occur – assuring rights of indigenous territories, quilombolas, traditional communities and never legalizing occupations that happened irregularly.
• Guide human and financial resources towards guaranteeing the full implementation of the Forest Code, without proposing changes to this law, as the most efficient path to guarantee rural properties environmental regularization, which includes the validation of the Rural Environmental Registry (CAR) and the regulation and effective implementation of the Environmental Regularization Program (PRA) and Environmental Reserve Quotas (CRA).
• Eliminate the production from areas with illegal deforestation or illegal exploitation from Brazilian production chains by instituting mechanisms and procedures to establish the principle of co-responsibility with buyers and financers, and establishing a robust and transparent traceability program for the main agricultural and forestry products.
• Produce an annual report on deforestation, restoration, and reforestation of all Brazilian biomes.
• Reactivate and expand the Action Plan for the Prevention and Control of Deforestation in Legal Amazon (PPCDAM) and Action and Prevention Plan of Deforestation Control in the Cerrado (PPCERRADO).
• Reactivate the Amazon Fund and expand its scope, intake, and timeliness of implementation, and use part of the resources to implement the above-mentioned measures.
ECOLOGICAL-ECONOMIC ZONING (EEZ)
One of the most important tools for the agro-environmental agenda is ecological-economic zoning (EEZ). It facilitates the identification and classification of different land use according to the land’s agricultural aptitude and productive potential, as well as highlights areas essential to conservation. Despite the existence of EEZ legislation since the ‘80s, there have only been a few situations when Brazil has used this planning and territorial management tool. As a consequence, the occupation of the territory does not follow parameters that guide an economic development of those areas compatible with their characteristics and natural potential, and that guarantee their socio-environmental safeguards.
Urgent actions to implement the Ecological-Environmental Zoning (EEZ):
• Promote a study on landscape and land-use planning in all national territory to support an EEZ proposal open to public debate;
• Implement EEZ in states that already have it in a 1:250,000 scale and conduct a task force to finalize the EEZ (in the same scale) where it is not yet available;
• Reestablish zoning for sugar-cane crops that assures the non-expansion of this cultivation over native vegetation areas and adopt similar regulation for other large-scale crops, such as soy and cotton.
RECOGNITION OF THE ECONOMIC VALUE OF FORESTS
The concept of sustainability needs to be connected to a business and economic logic, beyond socio-environmental benefits and the search for the proper inducer channels is necessary for this to occur. Systems of payment by results and carbon markets are important strategic drivers in this agenda to reach the valuation of the standing forest, restoration, and reforestation for multiple purposes.
Urgent action to value standing forest:
• Immediately implement the Brazilian Market on Emission Reduction (MBRE), considering not only the reduction in emissions but also the removal of carbon from the atmosphere – as predicted in the National Policy on Climate Change (PNMC) – and signal Brazil’s interest in participating of results-based payments and carbon markets. This would create a work agenda that stimulates synergies between the market and the valuation of forest assets;
• Foster the progress of National REDD+ Strategy, reactivating the participation of civil society and the business sector in the National Commission for REED+ (CONAREDD+);
• Support the regulation of the National Policy for Environmental Services (PSA) by the Congress that recognizes the economic value of the remaining native vegetation and induces additionality regarding the law’s parameter – guaranteeing legal security to PSA initiatives already implemented in the country;
• Regulate Article 41 of the Brazilian Forest Code, about the incentives to environmental conservation and restoration in private properties, as well as other legal dispositions to value the capture, conservation, maintenance, and increase of natural carbon fixation.
Brazil should also explore opportunities related to bioeconomy, an area that gathers all the sectors that use biological resources with a focus on sustainability and technology. To this end, there will be the need for R&D policies and economic incentives, besides regulatory frameworks that allow the productive sector to advance towards sustainable and more affordable productive systems – especially promoting a largely decentralized bio-industrialization. Brazil, in particular the Amazon, has all it needs to become a great socio-biodiversity power.
Urgent actions to stimulate the bioeconomy:
• Place Brazil in the global bioeconomy agenda, with a distinctive focus on the maintenance and restoration of our tropical forests;
• Include mechanisms that simplify and exonerate products of the bioeconomy in the proposal for tributary reform, in particular, those originating from the sustainable collection and management of forests and native vegetation;
• Invest public and private resources in Research and Development (R&D) for the use, conservation, and restoration of natural resources, and seize the great biological and biomimetic assets of Brazilian biodiversity. This would solidify the foundations of science, technology, and innovation to a strong bioeconomy;
• Support collaboration nets between the private sector and academia to speed R&D on bioeconomy and create innovative bio-industry models widely spread throughout Brazil to add value to products, processes, and biological knowledge of countless species of the Brazilian biodiversity;
• Set bioeconomy as the strategic focus of public policies, based on the regulatory framework, promotion programs, and market instruments that boost the sustainable production of products with innovative aspects of bio-industrialization.
About the Brazilian Coalition
The Brazilian Coalition on Climate, Forests and Agriculture is a multisectoral movement that was established to propose actions and influence public policies that would lead to the development of a low carbon economy, with the creation of quality jobs, stimulus to innovation and Brazilian global competitiveness, and generation and distribution of wealth for the whole society. More than 200 companies, business associations, research centers, and civil society organizations have joined the Brazilian Coalition – coalizaobr.com.br/en
Brazilian Coalition on Climate, Forests and Agriculture Manifesto to the President of the Republic, Jair Bolsonaro.
The more than 200 members of the Brazilian Coalition on Climate, Forests and Agriculture, a group that brings together representatives of agribusiness, environmental protection, the financial sector, and academia, express their concern about the escalation of deforestation and illegal activities in the forest. We ask the government to use all the necessary instruments to curb these practices.
Today, over 90% of deforestation in the Amazon is illegal. Other crimes are associated with this grave scenario, such as drug trafficking and tax evasion. The current government must take the necessary measures, since it has at its disposal the military and police apparatus and, therefore, should be a reference in the fight against illegality.
It is necessary to regain control of deforestation. We have already experienced periods when a significant drop in deforestation occurred amid a cycle of leaps in agricultural productivity. This history shows that deforesting is not necessary to increase agricultural production.
Agribusiness is being hampered by illegal gangs, tarnishing the industry's reputation, increasing legal uncertainty and unfair competition for producers and companies.
Field security also involves fighting forest fires. Although fire is regularly used in some agricultural practices, it is also used as a means to illegally open areas in the forest. The relationship between deforestation and fire is particularly strong in 2019. More fires in a milder drought year indicate that deforestation may be a driving factor of the flames. Combating illegal deforestation also involves curbing invasions of indigenous lands or protected areas, including for the purpose of illegal mining.
The government should create incentives for law enforcement, controlling criminal actions and increasing vigilance over clandestine activities. This is a common agenda between agribusiness and climate and environmental organizations.
It is also an agenda of interest to investors, as agricultural activities are directly linked to the climate issue, which affects a wide range of economic sectors. Climate change could cause significant financial losses, such as the California drought in 2015, which resulted in an estimated $ 2.7 billion in agricultural losses. On the other hand, Brazil has a great opportunity to attract new resources from national and international investors if it is able to monetize its environmental assets. In addition to remunerating the maintenance of the standing forest, these resources can have direct effects on our economy, for example, by incorporating the value of Brazilian environmental assets into the country's GDP.
Science corroborates the urgency of actions to combat climate change. The latest IPCC report makes it clear that there is no shortage of evidence on the urgency of the issue. Brazil, the global leader in remote sensing technologies, increasingly needs to use its scientific data to improve its public policies.
The challenge is great, but the country has a lot to gain. With its strong and competitive agribusiness, Brazil needs to secure the post of agri-environmental power, as it is home to the largest rainforest in the world, the highest biodiversity rates and 12% of the planet's freshwater. To this end, government policies need to focus efforts on addressing the climate crisis, controlling deforestation and illegality in the field and promoting sustainable agribusiness, enabling not only the fulfillment of the Paris Agreement, but also increasing the ambition of its goals to ensure the planet's climate, water and food security.
The Brazilian Coalition, on behalf of the sectors it represents - agribusiness, environmental protection agencies, academia and the financial sector - wants to help the government advance this agenda in a participatory and collaborative manner. The movement has a set of proposals that have been presented to various ministries and legislative representatives. Beyond administrations, this is a long-term state agenda and the path to sustainable development for Brazil.
About the Brazilian Coalition
The Brazilian Coalition on Climate, Forests and Agriculture is a multisectoral movement that was established with the goal of proposing actions and influencing public policies that would lead to the development of a low carbon economy, with the creation of quality jobs, stimulus to innovation and Brazilian global competitiveness, and generation and distribution of wealth for the whole society. More than 200 companies, businesses associations, research centers and civil society organizations have joined the Brazilian Coalition.