Position papers
  • 23-Apr
  • 2018

April 23, 2018 - The National System for the Control of the Origin of Forest Products (Sinaflor), announced by the Government in March 2017, was created with the aim of concentrating information on the control and monitoring of the origin of different forest products, such as coal and exploited timber in forest management regime. Thus, all forest activities that are subject to control by official organizations of the National Environmental System (Sisnama) must be linked to Sinaflor to issue authorizations to exploit and commercialize its products.

The Federal Government stipulated the goal of May 2, 2018, to start Sinaflor on a national scale. Moving forward to the operational stage is fundamental for improving the control and governance, safety and legality environment of Brazilian forestry activities.

Therefore, the Brazilian Coalition on Climate, Forests and Agriculture reinforces once again its support for Sinaflor, as it had done last year in a communiqué issued on March 8, 2017. The movement also reaffirms the importance of this system as a tool for transparency and control of the origin of the country's forest products.

In addition, the Brazilian Coalition requests the official Sisnama organizations that have not yet formally joined Sinaflor to do so before May 2, 2018, in order to allow the immediate functioning of the system.

Check below the statement of the Brazilian Coalition released on March 8, 2017:

 

Sinaflor is an important step in fostering the legal timber market in the country

São Paulo, March 8, 2017 - The Brazilian Coalition on Climate, Forests and Agriculture participated in the launch of the National System for the Control of the Origin of Forest Products - Sinaflor, held yesterday in Brasília, with the presence of the Minister of the Environment, Sarney Filho, and the president of Ibama, Suely Araújo.

Sinaflor is a system that integrates other platforms from Ibama, such as the Forest Origin Document (DOF) and the Annual Operational Plan (POA), as well as the Rural Environmental Registry National System (Sicar). One of its objectives is to improve the control of the origin of products, such as wood and coal, tracking all the process, from authorizations of exploration to their transport, storage, industrialization and export. Therefore, it aims to increase the degree of security and reliability of the systems as a whole.

All states in the country are expected to use Sinaflor as of 2018 to issue operating and marketing authorizations for these products.

For the Brazilian Coalition, the first version of Sinaflor, presented yesterday, represents an important step for the timber sector. “The system brings progress for the productive chain of native wood, which suffers from irregularities in its production processes. The minister and the president of Ibama also pledged to launch a new version of Sinaflor by the end of the year, responding to traceability and transparency challenges. The Brazilian Coalition is ready to contribute to this process”, said Marcelo Furtado, facilitator at the Brazilian Coalition, who participated in the event's opening table.

“Sinaflor still needs some improvements, but it can already reduce significantly the possibility of fraud by bringing more operational security to the issuing of permits for timber extraction”, says Jeanicolau de Lacerda, an assessor at Precious Woods company and one of the leaders of the Coalition's Tropical Forest Economy Working Group. He and other members of the Working Group were also present at the launch.

For the Working Group, it is still necessary to find concrete ways to promote the broad traceability and transparency of information on the origin and final destination of timber products. These are key elements for achieving two objectives of the Brazilian Coalition, which are to curb illegality in the sector and increase the area of sustainable managed forest in the country by 10-fold, reaching 25 million hectares by 2030. This will promote the fight against illegal deforestation and lead to a more sustainable forest economy based on the correct management of forests and the generation of income and quality jobs throughout the production chain. “Transparency puts the spotlight on enterprises that operate in the right way. It encourages the maintenance of forests, the respect for local communities and the preservation of natural resources. It also contributes to the development of adequate public policies that bring the whole sector to legality”, says Leonardo Sobral, forest manager at Imaflora, who also leads the Tropical Forest Economy Working Group.

The tropical timber market is responsible for more than 200,000 direct jobs and produces 13 million m³ of log/year, generating a gross annual income of R$ 4.3 billion. However, according to data from the Institute BVRio, about 80% of timber sold in the country seems to be illegal and is not certified.

 

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 160 companies, business associations, research centers and civil society organizations have already joined The Brazilian Coalition – coalizaobr.com.br/en

  • 16-Apr
  • 2018

The Senate Bill (PLS) 626/2011 has returned to the agenda and should be voted on in the Senate floor in next weeks.

The Brazilian Coalition on Climate, Forests and Agriculture reaffirms its position paper against this Bill, according to the position already published on September 11, 2017 (available below).

Faced with the risks mentioned in this position paper, the Brazilian Coalition asks the Senators to vote for the rejection of PLS 626/2011.

Read the position paper:

 

Senate bill ignores agroecological zoning of sugarcane

Note of the Brazilian Coalition on Climate, Forests and Agriculture on Senate Bill 626/2011:

São Paulo, September 11, 2017 – Senate Bill 626/2011, sponsored by Senator Flexa Ribeiro (PSDB-PA), which is being processed by the Federal Senate, aims to authorize sugarcane cultivation in the Legal Amazon, in already degraded forest areas and in stretches of savannas and general fields of the states that make up the region.

This bill contradicts the efforts made by the federal government, the productive sector and society towards the sustainable production of sugarcane in the country. In 2009, the Brazilian government approved Decree 6961, which provides for Agroecological Zoning and determines areas and rules for the licensing of new plants, excluding expansions on sensitive biomes such as the Amazon and Pantanal, as well as areas of native vegetation. Bill 626/2011, proposing a change in the zoning guidelines, could cause a strong pressure for deforestation in the Amazon biome.

Brazilian biofuels and sugar are not associated with this deforestation. Senate Bill 626/2011 can tarnish this reputation and jeopardize the markets already conquered and the value of Brazilian products. Brazil needs to focus on promoting increased production of bioenergy and biofuels in the current unused areas, along with environmental preservation.

The demand for economic development in the Amazon regions is legitimate. However, the Coalition believes that the creation of quality jobs can only be achieved through the low-carbon economy. Currently, sugarcane cultivation occupies about 10 million hectares. Zoning, by excluding 92.5% of the Brazilian territory as unfit for sugarcane cultivation, still allows its expansion in 64.7 million hectares, of which 19.3 million hectares are areas of high productive potential.

Therefore, we understand that, in protecting sensitive biomes, zoning signals areas big enough to enable agribusiness to expand and intensify its production while ensuring the preservation of protected areas. These areas are critical to provide ecosystem services, such as maintaining temperature and rainfall regimes.

Therefore, the Brazil Coalition defends the maintenance of the sugarcane Agroecological Zoning terms and demands that Senators members of the next Commissions read Senate Bill 626/2011 (Commissions for Agriculture and Agrarian Reform and Environment, Consumer Protection and Inspection and Control, with a final decision) to consider the risks mentioned above and vote for their rejection. The sugarcane industry plays an important role in meeting the Brazilian climate target and is able to increase its participation in the national energy matrix by 18% without plowing under the Amazon.

 

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 160 companies, business associations, research centers and civil society organizations have already joined The Brazilian Coalition – coalizaobr.com.br

  • 10-Nov
  • 2017

São Paulo, November 10, 2017 – The official negotiations at COP 23 will have the important mission of advancing to devise the rulebook for the implementation of the Paris Agreement, which will standardize the NDCs (climate targets) to ensure that the commitments of the countries are comparable. Brazil, as well as the majority of the signatory countries, is at this stage, and to make the Agreement a reality, needs to rely on a strategic plan for implementation of its NDC.

Although it is ambitious, the Brazilian NDC is a feasible target for the country, which has already proved to be able to reduce its GHG emissions, through the fall in the rates of deforestation in the Amazon region between 2004 and 2012, simultaneously with a period of extraordinary sustainable productivity jumps in Brazilian farming.

However, currently, Brazil has faced a period of environmental setbacks and of increase in its CO2 emissions by around 9%. Even though the most recent data from INPE indicates a decline of 16% in the deforestation of the Amazon in the last year, the country is still far from achieving its climate target. Therefore, COP 23 will be an important moment for Brazil to align discourse and practice, proving that it will redirect its actions and public policies toward a low-carbon economy and following its leadership in international discussions, stimulating greater ambition in both the Brazilian NDC and in the Paris Agreement.

For this reason, the Brazilian Coalition on Climate, Forests and Agriculture believes that the implementation of the NDC should be seen as an agenda for a low-carbon development for Brazil, which will bring economic opportunities, achieving positive results in agricultural production and in environmental conservation, concomitantly, and not only as the fulfillment of a public commitment. To this end, it is important that the discussions on the implementation of the NDC in COP 23 consider various aspects, which are detailed below.

The low-carbon economy should bring fundamental social impacts, such as the creation of quality jobs, generation and distribution of wealth, improvements in people's health, greater recognition and protection of indigenous peoples and traditional communities, and other benefits to society as a whole.

For the transition toward this economy, national and international economic mechanisms will be required, in order to build new standards of production and consumption. If it is not regulated by public policies and instruments capable of inducing new vectors of demand and supply, the action of the strength of the market alone will not suffice to achieve the climate targets and an economic turnaround. Among these instruments there are the carbon pricing, payment for environmental services, REDD+, etc.

In addition, actions of monitoring are crucial to measure the effectiveness of investments and understand the best way of guiding them. Allied to governance, wide transparency should also be observed, which will allow society to monitor and evaluate the progress of climate targets and, therefore, it is also necessary to ensure mechanisms for the participation and involvement of different players.

Finally, the development, availability, access and dissemination of technologies for new economic models must complete the transition to low-carbon development. Whether in agriculture and cattle raising production or in the forestry business, innovation is the inducer of a new economy, which must be accompanied by actions of training and technical assistance to workers.

Brazilian Coalition hopes that COP 23 can enhance the discussions on the implementation of the Paris Agreement, considering all the points addressed here as essential in a national strategy. Several members of the movement will be present at the conference, contributing and monitoring the international negotiations and will be at the disposal of players on the agenda of climate, forests and agriculture interested in joining efforts.

 

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

  • 14-Sep
  • 2017

São Paulo, September 14, 2017 – The Brazilian NDC, ratified by the country in 2016, will be one of the main guiding principles for Brazil's sustainable development agenda in the coming years. Its implementation will demand the integration of efforts from many sectors of the economy, to reach Brazil’s total emission target of 1.3 GtCO2 in 2025.

In the last decade, we have promoted one of the largest reductions in carbon emissions by a single country, through the reduction of deforestation in the Amazon between 2005 and 2014. Land-use and agriculture changes, especially deforestation, remain the most relevant sectors for Brazil's NDC, since together they respond for about two thirds of our national emissions1. The resumption of deforestation’s reduction, as well as the recovery of forest areas and reforestation, will require large volumes of resources, in addition to a permanent commitment from governments, the private sector, and society in general.

In this scenario, multiple mechanisms will be required so that Brazil fulfills its emission reduction targets. Among these mechanisms, there are those focused on new financing strategies – including new market mechanisms – capable of attracting investors interested in mitigating climate change. They will be increasingly relevant and may guarantee the scale up liquidity to existing mechanisms of carbon valuation.

Under this perspective, the REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation) mechanism represents the greatest opportunity to finance the emission reduction efforts undertaken in Brazil. However, to date, our capacity to raise resources through REDD+ has been limited to about 6% of the national potential. According to the reference values of the agreements signed by the Amazon Fund (US$ 5/tCO2e), and based only on emissions reductions from deforestation in the Amazon, Brazil could have raised US$ 30 billion between 2006 and 20152.

However, until now, the country has raised less than US$ 2 billion, an amount far below the potential offered by the emission reductions shown. Investments in REDD+ are essential for compliance of Brazilian NDC. They must be addressed transversally and complementarily to the Brazilian Forest Code enforcement, the promotion and expansion of sustainable forest management, restoration actions, and payment for ecosystem services, among others agendas. Therefore, the Brazilian Coalition understands that some short and medium term measures must be taken to prepare the country to benefit more from the opportunities of REDD+ investments, as listed below:

1. Create and regulate effective and complementary mechanisms for assessing emission reductions from deforestation and removals related to forests and agriculture in Brazil, including participation in national and international carbon markets, as applicable, to support the enforcement of the Brazilian NDC.

2. Continue with the design and implementation of the Brazilian Emissions Reduction Market (MBRE), fostering the implementation of pilot projects over the next two years, creating a work agenda that stimulates synergies between the market and the valuation of forest assets.

3. Regulate article 41 of the Brazilian Forest Code. This article addresses incentives for environmental conservation in private properties, as well as other legal provisions (draft bills on payment for environmental services, state legislations on REDD+, among others), that enable the capture, conservation, maintenance, and increase of the carbon stock.

4. Acknowledge subnational initiatives (such as state REDD+ Programs and ongoing pilot projects in the Amazon) as key elements for the National REDD+ Strategy and to obtain additional resources for environmental management and reduction of deforestation in the biome.

5. Reformulate the governance of the National Commission for REDD+ (CONAREDD+) to ensure fairness in decision-making procedures (e.g., with votes in blocs), expanding the number of seats for civil society, including the private sector, and accelerating implementation of the National REDD+ Strategy.

6. Create a reference level to increase forest stocks in Brazil, within the scope of the national REDD+ strategy, so that the mechanism can also be used for the recovery of degraded areas, Permanent Preservation Area (APP), Legal Reserve (RL) and others, and to expand the supply of forest products by management or plantation.

7. Broaden the scope, fundraising, and swiftness of implementation of the Amazon Fund, based on the following measures: (i) raise resources for all verified removals; (ii) incorporate the stocks’ increase in the limits of fundraising; and (iii) include all Brazilian biomes, both for demonstration of removals and for fundraising.

The Brazilian Coalition highlights the regulatory role of the Brazilian State for REDD+ and advocates a comprehensive, technically-motivated debate involving all stakeholders. We believe that the regulation of a REDD+ system in Brazil would attract new financial resources aiming to implement the national climate targets.

Finally, we recognize that after 2020, with the revision of NDCs, new markets and opportunities for carbon credit negotiations may emerge in the world. It is therefore important that Brazil prepares to participate in these new markets, thus attracting new investments for the land use and forest sector. We believe that the recommendations provided herein are essential steps for Brazil’s readiness for this new moment.

1 Data from the Greenhouse Gas Emission Estimate System (SEEG), 2016.
2 Considering results achieved and reported in the Info Hub Brazil (http://redd.mma.gov.br/en/infohub)

 

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

  • 11-Sep
  • 2017

Note of the Brazilian Coalition on Climate, Forests and Agriculture on Senate Bill 626/2011:

São Paulo, September 11, 2017 – Senate Bill 626/2011, sponsored by Senator Flexa Ribeiro (PSDB-PA), which is being processed by the Federal Senate, aims to authorize sugarcane cultivation in the Legal Amazon, in already degraded forest areas and in stretches of savannas and general fields of the states that make up the region.

This bill contradicts the efforts made by the federal government, the productive sector and society towards the sustainable production of sugarcane in the country. In 2009, the Brazilian government approved Decree 6961, which provides for Agroecological Zoning and determines areas and rules for the licensing of new plants, excluding expansions on sensitive biomes such as the Amazon and Pantanal, as well as areas of native vegetation. Bill 626/2011, proposing a change in the zoning guidelines, could cause a strong pressure for deforestation in the Amazon biome.

Brazilian biofuels and sugar are not associated with this deforestation. Senate Bill 626/2011 can tarnish this reputation and jeopardize the markets already conquered and the value of Brazilian products. Brazil needs to focus on promoting increased production of bioenergy and biofuels in the current unused areas, along with environmental preservation.

The demand for economic development in the Amazon regions is legitimate. However, the Coalition believes that the creation of quality jobs can only be achieved through the low-carbon economy. Currently, sugarcane cultivation occupies about 10 million hectares. Zoning, by excluding 92.5% of the Brazilian territory as unfit for sugarcane cultivation, still allows its expansion in 64.7 million hectares, of which 19.3 million hectares are areas of high productive potential.

Therefore, we understand that, in protecting sensitive biomes, zoning signals areas big enough to enable agribusiness to expand and intensify its production while ensuring the preservation of protected areas. These areas are critical to provide ecosystem services, such as maintaining temperature and rainfall regimes.

Therefore, the Brazil Coalition defends the maintenance of the sugarcane Agroecological Zoning terms and demands that Senators members of the next Commissions read Senate Bill 626/2011 (Commissions for Agriculture and Agrarian Reform and Environment, Consumer Protection and Inspection and Control, with a final decision) to consider the risks mentioned above and vote for their rejection. The sugarcane industry plays an important role in meeting the Brazilian climate target and is able to increase its participation in the national energy matrix by 18% without plowing under the Amazon.

 

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

  • 29-Aug
  • 2017

Note of the Brazilian Coalition on Climate, Forests and Agriculture on the extinction of the National Reserve of Copper and its Associates (RENCA):

São Paulo, August 29, 2017 – The Brazilian Coalition on Climate, Forests and Agriculture condemns the extinction of the National Reserve of Copper and its Associates (RENCA) carried out by presidential decree on August 28. Even if this decree replaces the previous one to detail how environmental preservation will take place in the region, this measure again is announced without being subjected to discussions with society. The Brazilian Coalition believes that without listening to the different stakeholders, the Government will not be able to construct an adequate plan to ensure the preservation of regional protected areas, all the more while refusing to conduct a socio-environmental study on the impact of the extinction of the reserve.

This measure comes in addition to other Government and Congress actions that contradict the development of a low-carbon economy, one that creates quality jobs, fosters innovation, boosts Brazil’s global competitiveness, while generating and distributing wealth to the whole society. This decision otherwise worsens the national scenario of social and environmental setbacks.

The threat to forest protection has already been identified as a concern by the Brazilian Coalition, in the case of bills to reduce Conservation Units (CU) and specifically in the case of Provisional Measures 756 and 758, actions that can cause increased deforestation in the country and that, unfortunately, returned to the Congress’ agenda as a bill (PL No. 8107/2017). Even if the current decree does not change the rules of the nine environmental protection areas present in RENCA, releasing the mining activity results in drastic changes in the occupation dynamics of the region while bringing great risks to the maintenance of these areas and their ecosystems. One of the areas that could suffer from the extinction of RENCA is the Tumucumaque Mountains National Park, the largest national park in Brazil and the largest in the world's rainforests.

Currently, only 0.31% of RENCA's forest area is deforested, according to PRODES data. According to IPAM (Amazon Research Institute, in the Portuguese acronym) calculations, this percentage should increase to 5%, even if the protection of the environmental areas is not changed, or even reach 31%, if these protected areas lose their effectiveness in containing the pressure of deforestation, which can be caused by the multiplication of legal and illegal mining, mainly, in the area of the Paru State Forest (figures 1 and 2).

Figure 1. A 5% increase in deforestation in RENCA's forest area, even with maintenance of environmental protection areas.

 

Figure 2. A 31% increase in deforestation in the RENCA forest area, if protected areas lose effectiveness in containing the pressure of deforestation.

 

Fighting against deforestation and forest protection are critical conditions for agribusiness to function, given the influence of forests on rainfall, biodiversity in crop pollination and temperature variation, especially in the Amazon region. Preservation, especially in a world under threat of climate change, is also a key part of Brazil's ability to fulfill the commitment made in the Paris Agreement, reducing its emissions of greenhouse gases, including those from deforestation.

The role of protected areas in fighting against deforestation has historically been critical. According to a study by IPAM, the creation of 24 million hectares of areas of integral protection or sustainable use played a key role to the decline in deforestation between 2005 and 2008.

The extinction decree of RENCA goes against this history and is seen, by the Brazil Coalition, as part of a set of social and environmental setbacks. More than addressing such setbacks, it is also essential to give urgency and strengthen the implementation of the Forest Code, combating attempts such as the extension of the deadline for registration in the Environmental Rural Registry (CAR).

The extinction of the mineral reserve also adds to the risks present in the process of reviewing the regulatory framework for environmental licensing, which is being processed in Congress, that may change the environmental rules for the mining sector. The Brazilian Coalition listed principles and guidelines that need to be guaranteed in the revision of this statute to stimulate the economic activity in line with the preservation of the socioenvironmental assets.

Therefore, the Brazil Coalition requires the interruption of the national socioenvironmental setbacks scenario, which has threatened public interest agendas, such as environmental protection and the implementation of the Forest Code, and calls for the repeal of the decree until a formal process discussion and consultation on the extinction of this reserve.

 

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