Brazilian Coalition brings sustainable land use to the official COP 25 Program

 

The Brazilian Coalition was invited to join some official events of the program for COP 25, the United Nations Conference on Climate Change, which took place in Madrid, from December 2nd to 13th.

 

Participation in COP 25’s Forest Day 

Photography/Credited to: Felipe Lizana/World Bank 

 

On December 5, Marcelo Furtado, a member of the movement's Strategic Group (GE), participated in the panel “Mobilizing resources for forest-based solutions”, which was part of the High-Level Meeting on Forests, organized by the UNFCCC, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change) for the forest themed day.

Pamela Barahona (Costa Rica's Deputy Minister of Environment), Gabriel Quijandría Acosta (Peru’s Deputy Minister of Strategic Development of Natural Resources), Dirk Forrister (President of the International Emissions Trading Association - IETA), Mario Cerutti (Director of Institutional Relations and Sustainability of Lavazza, Italy), Ana Belén Noriega Bravo (Secretary General of the Program for the Endorsement of Forest Certification - PEFC, Spain) and Frances Seymour (President of Architecture for REDD + Transactions). Jennifer Morris, President of Conservation International, moderated the debate.

With an audience of about 400 people, Furtado introduced the Coalition and mentioned the 2030-2050 Vision, built on consensus among representatives of agribusiness, civil society and academia. "Because it represents a consensus of these sectors, it is a socially and environmentally sound vision, a scientifically and economically viable one," he said. [check the action plan platform showing the movement’s actions to implement the 2030-2050 vision here].

Furtado also said that for the movement's vision to come true, there is the challenge of working with Congress and the Executive in drafting appropriate laws and public policies. However, presenting to the government a proposal already agreed upon by society can streamline dialogue and implementation.

As an example of the impact of the Coalition's work in Brazil, Furtado mentioned the Abag Congress (Brazilian Agribusiness Association) which debuted in 2019 with the theme of illegal deforestation as the main concern of the sector, reinforcing the message that crime is bad for business, society and the environment. 

In addition to talking about the fight against illegality, he argued that the Coalition also deals with actions to value the standing forest, either for the remuneration of environmental services or for the development of a bioeconomy in the Amazon. Furtado said that it is no use for Brazil to replace agricultural commodities with forest commodities, but that it needs to add value to the forest, and mentioned the Rainforest XPRIZE, a $ 10 million prize to promote the creation of technologies for biodiversity in tropical forests.  

 

Side event with China representatives

Photography/Credited to: Fernanda Macedo/Brazilian Coalition

 

On the 12th, André Guimarães, co-facilitator of the Brazilian Coalition, joined the side event "Nature-based solutions: mangrove conservation and zero deforestation - agricultural production as cases", organized by China's Global Environment Institute (GEI). The event was attended by MA Aimin (Deputy Director General of the National Center for Climate Strategy and International Cooperation - NCSC), WANG Yi (Vice President of the Chinese Academy of Sciences Institute of Science and Development), CHEN Guangcheng (Associate Professor at the Third Institute of Oceanography of the Ministry of Natural Resources of China), SU Haiyin (Secretary-General of the Center for International Forest Products Trade of the National Forestry and Grassland Administration of China), REN Peng (Overseas Investment Manager, Trade and the Environment Program) and ZHANG Jigiang , board member of the Global Environmental Institute (GEI). The moderation was from LI Haiyan, Secretary General of the Global Climate Action Initiative (GCAI). 

Guimarães presented the "2030-2050 Vision - The Future of Forests and Agriculture in Brazil," developed by the movement with input from various sectors. "There is a clear correlation between protecting the rainforest in Brazil and our competitive advantage to supply food for the world," said Guimarães.

REN Peng presented COFCO International case study for nature-based solutions (NBS) in the soybean traceability chain.

MA Aimin underscored the importance of working together - as it happens in the Brazilian Coalition - between representatives of civil society and business sectors for the growth of the nature-based solutions market, pointing out that the next five years will be critical for increasing the NBS instruments, expanding coverage regions and regional initiatives, as well as establishing a system for funding and incentives. "NBS could be the solution to protecting biodiversity in key areas," he said. He also highlighted the importance of working on different NBS themes, such as forest management, and restoration of marine ecosystems. 

In his turn, CHEN Guangcheng presented the conservation case of the Chinese mangrove regions, which were severely degraded in the 1960s for agricultural activities. Degradation continued between the 1980s and 2000s for aquaculture activities, as well as urbanization from the 1990s. Despite the pressure for degradation, conservation programs also began in the 1980s. The first Mangrove National Reserve was founded in Hainan, southern China's 2,500-acre peninsula. Today in the country, a total of nearly 16,000 hectares of mangrove swamps are under protection in 52 protected areas and 28 nature reserves, placing China among the 10 nations that most protect mangrove areas in the world. In 2018, when hosting the annual event of The Blue Carbon Initiative, the country launched a commitment, with the title of “The Weihai Declaration”, reaffirming its position to collaborate in the formation of a “blue carbon” network, the one captured by costal and ocean ecosystems, and with scientific research on this topic.

Secretary-General SU Haiyin also presented China's practices for establishing a timber legality verification system. According to 2017 data, the country moves 12% of the volume of trade in forest products in the world, being the 1st in importation and the 5th in exportation. In this regard, China has been working with company certification and standards to verify the legality of timber, with guidelines for identifying and mitigating the risk of illegal timber, as well as auditing suppliers. Also, the government has been working, according to Haiyin, in cooperation with countries such as the United States and Australia, and partners such as GEI China and BVRio, from Brazil, to combat illegal exploitation and trade. “This event was important to initiate an official Coalition dialogue with China, where we plan to be in 2020 at the Conference on Biological Diversity (CBD),” said Guimarães. Next year, organizations will develop a conference work plan for October 2020.