Position papers
  • 08-Feb
  • 2017

São Paulo, February 8, 2017 - Brazil has today more than 300 million hectares of natural forests in the Amazon region, but less than three million hectares are sustainably managed. There are huge challenges in terms of conservation and the country has the highest annual rate of conversion of terrestrial ecosystems in the world.

The Brazilian Coalition on Climate, Forests and Agriculture believes that a competitive, thriving and sustainable forest-based economy that simultaneously guarantees the conservation and production of natural forests — through actions such as good forest management, forests restoration and related social benefits — can provide a fundamental contribution to support Brazil's commitments to the reduction of greenhouse gas emission (GHG), as well as to strengthen resilience and enable the country to adapt to climate change.

The major problem in the sector today is the high level of illegality and informality of wood production in the Amazon, which has damaged businesses and reduced investments. In this context, the objective of the Coalition's Tropical Forest Economy working group is to increase by 10-fold the area of sustainably managed forest in Brazil by 2030 (as per the Coalition’s proposal 14, copied below). This will result in 25 million hectares under sustainable management, in addition to controlling the sale of illegal wood products from native forests.
Sustainable forest management in Brazil:

  • is an economic activity with great capacity for generating income(1), creating jobs(2) and collecting taxes in rural areas;
  • has the potential to contribute more to the country’s exports(3);
  • combines production with conservation of forests, contributing to the maintenance of ecosystems and biodiversity, as well as key services such as water supply and carbon stocks;
  • its promotion and expansion are one of the priority points of Brazil’s NDC (Nationally Determined Contributions).

Considering all these points, one of the Brazilian Coalition’s priorities is to promote and enhance the forest economy derived from tropical forest management, with the aim to encourage sustainable forest management. To achieve this objective, Proposal 14 lists a few strategic actions. Some of them were prioritized for urgent action, in conjunction with the public sector:

  1. To provide transparency and access to logging permits and documents related to the control of tropical timber flows (DOFs, Forest Origin Documents), so as to allow the monitoring of management operations by society in general, with the objective of reducing the unfair supply and competition with products of illegal origin;
  2. To increase demand for products of legal and sustainable origin, requiring that all public procurement of timber products require traceability from their origin to the final product, giving preference to products certified by FSC (Forestry Stewardship Council) and/or by Cerflor (Brazilian Forest Certification Program).

The Brazilian Coalition believes that the combination of these measures is fundamental for the process of improving the economic conditions necessary for the legal and sustainable tropical forest management.

At the same time, we propose the creation of an intersectoral working group coordinated by the Brazilian Coalition that includes participants from the public, private and NGO sectors, as well as the academic community, in order to recommend public policies and promote actions to be adopted by both the public and private sectors that result in the removal of barriers, the implementation of initiatives to promote sustainable forest management and the prevention of illegal logging of native forest products.

 

BRAZILIAN COALITION ON CLIMATE, FORESTS AND AGRICULTURE’S PROPOSAL 14

Increase the area of sustainably managed forest in Brazil by 10-fold, by 2030, and curb the sale of illegal wood products from native forests. Strategic actions include:

  1. Ensure complete transparency of authorizations and monitoring of management operations for native forests.
  2. Employ tracking technology for geo-referencing all production chains, based on the use of products from managed native forests, and their respective monitoring and inspection, at least every 5 years.
  3. Encourage voluntary certification by FSC or Cerflor, for products originating from the sustainably managed native forests, and adopt a minimum standard for control, similar to “controlled timber” on the referred to certifications, for noncertified products.
  4. Assign co-responsibility to purchasers of products from illegal, non-traceable sources.
  5. After 2020, tax all products that are untraceable, at a rate of 40% of their estimated market value, before being released for sale. The amounts collected by this tax, on a state level, would be used to develop programs for sustainable reintegration in the production chain and help in the monitoring and control of illegal logging.
  6. After 2020, all public purchases, direct and indirect, and those by organizations that receive any type of public funding, would be required to purchase traceable forest products, from harvest through the chain of custody
  7. Encourage private companies to require traceable forest products in their purchases.
  8. Give preference to purchase of forest products certified by the FSC and/or Cerflor, which include a guarantee of traceability, in their bidding processes.

São Paulo, 8 February 2017

Tropical Forest Economy working group
Brazilian Coalition on Climate, Forests and Agriculture

(1) The sector produces approximately 13 million m3/year, generating a gross annual income of R$ 4.3 billion. (Brazilian Forest Service, 2013).
(2) The sector generates more than 200,000 direct jobs, 2% of the economically active population in the region. (PEREIRA ET AL, 2010).
(3) In 2012, export trade in the Legal Amazon reached about US$ 500 million. (Brazilian Forest Service, 2013).

 

About the Brazilian Coalition

The Brazilian Coalition on Climate, Forests and Agriculture is a multi-sector movement established to propose initiatives and influence public policies that lead to the development of a low-carbon economy by creating decent jobs, encouraging innovation, Brazil’s global competitiveness and generating and distributing wealth across society. Over 150 companies, business associations, research centers and civil society organizations have already joined The Brazilian Coalition – coalizaobr.com.br/en

  • 21-Nov
  • 2016

Marrakech, November 18, 2016 – The 22nd UN Climate Change Conference, COP 22, ended this Friday (Nov 18th) in Marrakech, Morocco, where the countries reaffirmed their determination and global effort to meet the goals set by the Paris Agreement, including the announcement by some nations of new and more ambitious targets for their NDCs (i.e., the commitments made in Paris last December). The Marrakech Action Proclamation, which contains key actions and dates for the implementation of the Agreement in the coming years, gives a more concrete form to the measures needed for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and decarbonization of the global economy.

The Brazilian government, represented by its head of delegation, José Sarney Filho, Environment Minister, reaffirmed in plenary the country's commitment to keep its efforts to limit the temperature increase by 1.5 °C by 2100, inviting all parties involved in the Agreement to demonstrate their clear commitment to that. "Brazil's statement during the plenary regarding the efforts to limit the temperature increase by 1.5 °C indicates that our country is in a position to make the transition to a economy based on decarbonization over time and may go beyond the commitment originally set in our Paris goals", said Carlos Rittl, Executive Secretary of the Brazilian Climate Observatory.

Blairo Maggi, Agriculture Minister, also present at the conference, highlighted the importance of agriculture in the commitment to reduce Brazil's emissions and reinforced the need for investment and financing for the implementation of the sector's goals. "To define the path for the implementation of the goals and to contribute to meeting the targets of the Paris Agreement are important actions for the Brazilian Coalition. Knowing that there is an implementation plan and the willingness to keep a broad dialogue with society, we now have a domestic agenda to support us towards our goals", said Marcelo Furtado, facilitator of the Brazilian Coalition on Climate, Forests and Agriculture, a multi-sector movement formed by 150 companies, civil society organizations, sector entities and research institutes with the objective of promoting a low-carbon economy with focus on land use.

The Marrakech conference was marked by technical negotiations for the regulation and implementation of the Paris Agreement, signed last December. Despite uncertainties about how the new US government will deal with the Convention on Climate Change, the vast majority of negotiators, coming from different nations, remained determined to restrain climate change.

The presence of business and financial sectors were the highlights at the COP this year. Many discussions focused on developing innovative funding mechanisms for NDC implementation. "There is a convergence between the environment and the market that will help on this. The search for more efficiency and reduction of emissions in production chains, as well as the willingness to help finance the decarbonization of the economy, shows that we are already in a new era. This is a one way road, and it will change paradigms", said Marina Grossi, Chairwoman of the Brazilian Business Council for Sustainable Development (Conselho Empresarial Brasileiro para o Desenvolvimento Sustentável, Cebds).

A fundamental path for the Brazilian advance and its real role in the new economy based on low emissions can be found in the land use sector. "Forests have a key role in the success of the Paris Agreement. We have an important commitment to restore and reforest 12 million hectares — an area equivalent to England's territory — which, in addition to promoting carbon sequestration, can bring economic, social and sustainable development to many local and traditional communities", added André Guimarães, Executive Director of IPAM (Environmental Research Institute of the Amazon).

"Most of our NDC commitments are based on land use, which involves forest economy, agriculture and the end of illegal deforestation", said João Adrien, Executive Director of SRB (Brazilian Rural Society). "The forestry sector plays a very important role in building a low-carbon economy and it has potential for creating a new development model with prosperity and sustainability. For this, it is important to create adequate mechanisms and means of implementation, in Brazil and internationally", added Elizabeth de Carvalhaes, Executive Chairman of Ibá (Brazilian Tree Industry).

The intelligent use of natural resources has also been highlighted in the energy field, in which Brazil has the advantage of holding biofuel production technologies, established technical capacity to use them and a stable and operative distribution system. "We have great potential to further expand our use of biomass, biofuels and bioenergy, and thus decarbonize our economy", said Elizabeth Farina, CEO of the Brazilan Sugarcane Industry Association (União da Indústria de Cana-de-Açúcar, Unica).

At the COP 22, the Brazilian Coalition organized two debates about the importance and role of agriculture and forests for complying with the Climate Agreement. One of them was attended by representatives of the Ministers of Agriculture and Environment, the World Bank, the Climate Policy Initiative and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), who pointed out that Brazil can be an example of leadership in low-carbon agriculture and sustainable forest management.

About the Brazilian Coalition

The Brazilian Coalition on Climate, Forests and Agriculture is a multi-sector movement established to propose initiatives and influence public policies that lead to the development of a low-carbon economy by creating decent jobs, encouraging innovation, Brazil’s global competitiveness and generating and distributing wealth across society. Over 150 companies, business associations, research centers and civil society organizations have already joined The Brazilian Coalition – coalizaobr.com.br/en

  • 01-Nov
  • 2016

São Paulo, November 1, 2016 - Brazil continues to reaffirm its position as global leader on the matter of climate change. The approval of the Brazilian NDC by the Brazilian Congress and its ratification by the President are clear indications that the country seeks to extend its role in international negotiations. With the formal phase of ratification of the Paris Agreement complete, efforts should now be focused on its implementation which will certainly create innumerable opportunities for Brazil.

During the last decade, Brazil presided over one of the greatest reductions in carbon emissions made by a single country, through a reduction in deforestation of the Amazon between 2005 and 2014. The continuity of this effort to reduce deforestation-related carbon emissions, as well as the recovery of forest areas, will make huge demands on resources in addition to requiring a permanent commitment on behalf of governments, the private sector, and society in general. In particular, fulfilment of the Brazilian NDC, recently deposited before the UN and which contains ambitious targets, will require the implementation of increasingly agile solutions. The demand for investment in order to reach targets within the deadline (2030) will grow.

This scenario will demand multiple mechanisms for Brazil to meet its emissions reduction targets. Among such mechanisms, those geared towards new financing strategies and markets, capable of attracting investors interested in climate change mitigation, will have increasing relevance. Internal regulations, pressure from consumer markets, and the search for efficiency in production chains are some examples of incentives to promote new investment and business opportunities. Brazil needs to prepare for this new global scenario. Without altering the means chosen by the UN, new markets, voluntary or regulated at national and subnational levels, represent a fundamental contribution to the global effort to limit the increase of the planet’s temperature to below 2 ºC.

From this perspective, the REDD+ mechanism (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation) is the largest opportunity for financing emission reduction efforts in Brazil. However, to date, our fundraising capacity via REDD+ has been limited and insufficiently broad. Following reference values from agreements signed by Fundo Amazônia (US$5/tCO2), Brazil could capture around US$ 19 billion based solely on emissions reduction through deforestation of the Amazon up to 2014. Nevertheless, to date under US$ 2 billion has effectively been captured, a sum falling well below the potential offered by demonstrated emissions reductions.

In this sense, the Brazilian Coalition on Climate, Forests, and Agriculture understands that certain short and medium term measures must be taken in order for the country to benefit more from the opportunities it offers for REDD+ investments. These are:

  1. Creating and regulating effective mechanisms so that the reduction of emissions and expansion of removal of Greenhouse Gas Emissions (GHG) relating to forests and agriculture be recognised as Brazilian assets that contribute to the mitigation of climate change, creating value for such assets, in multiple ways, including through participation in carbon markets where applicable.

  2. To move forward with the design and implementation of the Brazilian Market of Emissions Reduction (MBRE), implementing pilot projects over the next 2 years, and creating a work agenda that encourages synergies between the market and the appreciation of forest assets.

  3. To regulate Article 41 of the Brazilian Forest Code, as well as other legal provisions (PLs on PSA, state legislation on REDD+, among others) which enhance the value of capture, conservation, maintenance, and increase of carbon stock, including through the exchange of forest assets, as set forth in the Forest Code.

  4. To recognise subnational initiatives, such as REDD+ State Programs and pilot projects currently being run in the Amazon, as key elements of the REDD+ National Strategy.

  5. To reformulate the REDD+ National Commission (CONAREDD) through an increase in the number of seats for the private sector and civil society, and allowing for greater equality in procedures for decision-making (ex. en bloc voting), with a view to strengthening issues related to transparency and equitable benefit sharing.

The Brazilian Coalition on Climate, Forests, and Agriculture is in favour of a technically grounded and broad debate involving all stakeholders, with the aim of broadening horizons for the opportunities that climate agreements will bring to the country. We understand that the REDD+ system has great potential for growth and attracting investment in Brazil.

Finally, we recognise that after 2020, with the review of NDCs, demand for offsets and carbon credits in general will increase, positioning Brazil favourably for participating in those markets. We therefore recommend that the short term measures indicated in this document be put in place in order to realize this potential in future.

About the Brazilian Coalition

The Brazilian Coalition on Climate, Forests and Agriculture is a multi-sector movement established to propose initiatives and influence public policies that lead to the development of a low-carbon economy by creating decent jobs, encouraging innovation, Brazil’s global competitiveness and generating and distributing wealth across society. Over 150 companies, business associations, research centers and civil society organizations have already joined The Brazilian Coalition – coalizaobr.com.br/en

  • 22-Apr
  • 2016

São Paulo, April 22, 2016 – The Brazilian Coalition on Climate, Forests and Agriculture is in New York, at the signing ceremony of the Paris Agreement, at the UN headquarters. More than 60 heads of state will attend the event. The ceremony opens the one year period for countries to formalize their commitment to the treaty and encourages the national ratification processes.

For the Brazilian Coalition — a multi-sector movement formed by over 120 companies, sectoral associations, research centers and civil society organizations —, the advances in the climate agenda not only address the risks of global temperature rise but are also a key to promoting a new development model based on low-carbon economy, generating income and jobs.

"The Paris Agreement opens a new era and it is necessary to complete the legislative process for its ratification. The business sector and the civil society are committed, organized and attentive in what regards to the fulfillment of the Brazilian commitments, regardless of the economic difficulties and political situation of the country. We need to make clear that the benefits of low-carbon economy are concrete. The challenge now is to multiply the necessary initiatives on several fronts", says Celina Carpi, Chairwoman of the Ethos Institute Deliberative Board and member of the Brazilian Coalition.

The positive impacts that may arise from the implementation of the Brazilian goals (INDC) also include the preservation of water resources, traditional cultures and the rich biodiversity of the country. "The agreement represents an opportunity for megadiverse countries, like Brazil, to attract investments and build a new relationship model between human activities and environment", says André Guimarães, Executive Director of IPAM (Environmental Research Institute of the Amazon), also of this coalition.

In the last few months, dozens of professionals from the Brazilian Coalition working groups have started to place their efforts towards the priority steps for the country to gradually reach the targets presented under the Agreement. Some of the main challenges are listed below by members of this group.

Low-carbon agriculture

"The dissemination and large scale adoption of low-carbon practices, such as crop-livestock-forest integration, mentioned in Brazil's commitments for the climate, calls for simplification measures to access agricultural credits for those who adopt these techniques, as well as efforts in the science and technology fields. This should happen in the research development area and also in the dissemination of its results, and should be put into practice in the rural production sector." — João Paulo Capobianco, Chairman of the Board of IDS (Institute for Democracy and Sustainability)

Forest Code

"We have to make an effort for the vast majority of landowners to register their properties in the Rural Environmental Registry (Cadastro Ambiental Rural, CAR) until May 5th. This is a central element in the new Forest Code so we can understand the size of the restoration challenge in Brazil. Knowledge and planning are essential aspects for us to achieve the implementation of the Forest Code and to fulfill Brazil's commitments for climate — social, economic and environmental impacts will be vast here and in the entire planet. Brazilian agribusiness has a great responsibility in achieving the goals of the Paris Agreement. With the support of the whole society, we will transform the most important type of business in the country into something even stronger and more sustainable." — Gustavo Junqueira, Chairman of the Sociedade Rural Brasileira (Brazilian Rural Society)

Economy based on the rain forest

"There are several restoration models, from ecological recovery until planned planting of commercial species, which would boost the economic activity, generating jobs and income in different regions of the country. We are working to establish a research and technology platform linked to the forestry of native species, involving the main organizations in the sector, companies, government and the academic community." — Rachel Biderman, Director of WRI Brazil (World Resources Institute)

Timber traceability

"An important way to combat illegal deforestation is to promote the value chain of legal timber. This means that we have to strive for the immediate implementation of a system that gives full transparency and traceability for all licenses issued along the timber path, from logging and processing until sales. This action together with monitoring and controlling activities can enhance and protect forests and promote more responsible and sustainable businesses." — Roberto Waack, Chairman of the Board of Amata

Valuation of the carbon market

"Brazil should move forward in the elaboration of a REDD+ National Strategy that is tangible and effective. REDD+ (Reduction of Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation) and other carbon valuation mechanisms are tools that help in the achievement of goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and they also generate benefits for local communities. When a community realizes that it is worth keeping the forest alive and works for this, the investment received for forest preservation can be converted into health, education and local infrastructure, which changes the understanding of the biomes and the planet as a whole." — Miriam Prochnow, Executive Secretary of the Brazilian Forest Dialogue (Diálogo Florestal)

Biofuels

"We need to resume the policy for biofuels: to assess taxation, to continue research development and to establish clearly the role of ethanol (including second generation ethanol) and biodiesel in the Brazilian energy matrix. In parallel, there is the challenge of developing a global standard for the use of biofuels and establishing cooperation platforms between Brazil and other countries." — Elizabeth Farina, CEO of the Brazilian Sugarcane Industry Association (União da Indústria da Cana de Açúcar, Unica)

 

About the Brazilian Coalition

The Brazilian Coalition on Climate, Forests and Agriculture is a multi-sector movement established to propose initiatives and influence public policies that lead to the development of a low-carbon economy by creating decent jobs, encouraging innovation, Brazil’s global competitiveness and generating and distributing wealth across society. Over 150 companies, business associations, research centers and civil society organizations have already joined The Brazilian Coalition – coalizaobr.com.br/en

  • 01-Dec
  • 2015

Brazilian contributions are focused on the agricultural, forestry and land use change sectors. This makes sense, since the country has 12% of the world's forests and is a leading producer of food. The Brazilian Coalition on Climate, Forests and Agriculture analyzes the Brazilian INDC and highlights the role of global society to boost joint action towards a new economic and social model.

São Paulo, December 1, 2015 - The World Conference on Climate (COP 21) should provide a document filled with ideas and fundamental actions to combat greenhouse gases (GHG). However, it's necessary to look forward. The future of the planet that will be discussed in Paris must be very different from the one that man has built in the industrial age. Heads of state, negotiators and ordinary citizens need to boost effective changes to a new economic and social model. Based on the decarbonisation of productive activities, this model needs to be more inclusive, fair and sustainable.

As one of the world's largest food producers, Brazil can set an example in the industry, combining increased productivity to the reduction of greenhouse gases. The engagement of producers, businesses, governments, and especially consumers are important so the low-carbon agriculture becomes a major practice.

São Paulo, November 28, 2015 — The deepening of the relationship between agriculture, forests and climate is a promising challenge for Brazil to fulfill its contributions to the climate agreement (INDC) and move towards a new agrarian economy. Low-carbon practices bring the reduction of greenhouse gases (GHG).