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Signature of forestry agreement is a win in the fight against climate change

The Brazilian Coalition on Climate, Forests and Agriculture, a multi-sectoral movement formed by more than 300 companies, civil society organizations, financial sector and the academia, praises the initiative taken by more than 100 leaders, including the Brazilian government, who signed a global agreement on the preservation of forests at the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 26), in Glasgow.

Signatories to the Glasgow Leaders’ Declaration on Forests and Land Use committed to allocate more than $12 billion in public funds and $7.2 billion from the private sector to halt and reverse forest loss and land degradation by 2030. The countries that joined the initiative have on their territory the equivalent of 85% of the world’s forests. The agreement is, as of now, a positive legacy from COP 26.

Deforestation accounts for about 25% of greenhouse gas emissions. At last, the international community recognizes that the devastation of the forests is no longer acceptable, and that their preservation is crucial to face the climate crisis and to curb the increase in global temperature to, at most, 1.5 degrees Celsius, as claimed in the Paris Agreement.

By committing to the Declaration, Brazil demonstrates a collaborative attitude to the international community, at a time when the country is under scrutiny for its inability to reduce its deforestation rate and for not demonstrating a sufficiently ambitious review of its Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC), that is, of its commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The Coalition encourages Brazil to translate its political will into solid actions which will be vital for the accomplishment of the forest agreement. The fifth largest greenhouse gas emitter and with more than 60% of the Amazon, the largest tropical forest in the world, in its territory, the country cannot avoid its responsibility to curb global warming and ensure the Paris Agreement’s success.

Brazil needs to demonstrate to the world that it is possible to attune large-scale commodity and food production to conservation. The business sector has already carried out several initiatives that point in this direction. The country must invest in the development and deployment of technologies to increase sustainability in the field, such as the traceability of the supply chain.

Likewise, as the agreement states, it must recognize that the development of the forest economy must include traditional communities, who are the guardians of these ecosystems. Only 1.6% of deforestation in the country between 1985 and 2020 occurred on indigenous lands, according to a survey released in August by MapBiomas.

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