Position papers
  • 14-Dec
  • 2018

The Brazilian Coalition on Climate, Forests and Agriculture and its more than 180 members that represent agribusiness, environmental protection entities and academia believe that the country has a lot to gain from staying in the Paris Agreement: the main international commitment on climate change.


The Paris Agreement represents an agenda of extensive opportunities. For rural producers, the commitment is seen as an important incentive to create mechanisms that are able to compensate producers that have a surplus of preserved areas in their properties, as a way to pay for the environmental service provided by these areas.


For forests and agriculture, the Agreement represents a clear sign towards a low carbon economy. A relevant part of the Brazilian economy is based on agribusiness, responsible for 23.5% of the National GDP and 19% of the formal jobs in the country. The sector is highly dependent upon climatic conditions to guarantee its productivity. Forests act as “sprinklers” of the Brazilian agriculture and to protect them is the best path to guarantee the sector’s continuity.


In global trade, Brazil, which today is responsible for 7% of the agricultural products in the planet, can attract more distinguishing features and competitiveness to its products. This would value its image and reputation and open new doors in international markets, which have been increasingly demanding producers to meet sustainability criteria.


All of these gains are possible results of Brazil’s support for the Paris Agreement combined with a national policy for the low carbon economy and coherent with the country’s trajectory as one of the leaders in international climate negotiations. The country has the obligation of keeping its leading role, out of respect for its history and responsibility to the planet.


Therefore, the Brazilian Coalition requests that the government considers the gains that the Paris Agreement can represent to many sectors of society. Thinking about the importance of this agenda, the Brazilian Coalition recently launched a vision for the future for forests and agriculture, in which the group members indicate goals for 2030 and 2050. For this reason, we believe that, in addition to continuing to support the global effort in reducing emissions, the country has to advance in this agenda as a long-term State policy for Brazil and the world.

 

About the Brazilian Coalition


The Brazilian Coalition on Climate, Forests and Agriculture is a multisectoral movement that was born with the goal of proposing actions and influencing public policies that 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 180 companies, businesses associations, research centers, and civil society organizations have joined the Brazilian Coalitioncoalizaobr.com.br/en

  • 08-Nov
  • 2018

November 8, 2018 – The Brazilian Coalition on Climate, Forests and Agriculture received with concern the news that the president elect, Jair Bolsonaro, and his team are considering merging the Environment and Agriculture Ministries.


According to the letter published on October 24, addressed to the candidates of the Brazilian presidential elections’ second round, the Brazilian Coalition highlights that the merger of these ministries can threaten the necessary power equilibrium that has to be respected in the context of public policies. A regulatory agency cannot be submitted to a regulated sector, as a matter of coherence and governance.


In the past few years, the Brazilian Coalition has been working with these ministries with the goal of contributing to public policies synergy and complementarity of these areas. Both agendas (environment and agriculture) are essential to guarantee the balance between environmental conservation and sustainable production and need to be equally weighted in government’s decision making.


Moreover, the Ministry of Environment’s actions go beyond agricultural and forest issues, because they also involve licensing, pollution control, the use of chemical products, water safety, among others. The strengthening of federal institutions, such as IBAMA (Brazilian Institute of the Environment and Renewable Natural Resources) and ICMBio (Chico Mendes Institute for Biodiversity Conservation), is an essential condition to assure the government’s role in these agendas. Therefore, the environmental agenda is much broader than only agriculture’s issues.


The members of the Brazilian Coalition – representatives of agribusiness, environmental defense entities, academia, and the financial sector – are at the elected government’s disposal to present more details of the risks associated with this fusion, as well as to present the countless opportunities the country has in taking advantage of a low carbon economy. The Brazilian Coalition is a nonpartisan movement that presented 28 proposals to the main candidates of this year’s election and that continues open to contribute to the sustainable development of the country.


About the Brazilian Coalition


The Brazilian Coalition on Climate, Forests and Agriculture is a multisectoral movement that was born with the goal of proposing actions and influencing public policies that 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 180 companies, businesses associations, research centers, and civil society organizations have joined the Brazilian Coalition coalizaobr.com.br/en

  • 24-Oct
  • 2018

Open letter to the candidates of the Brazilian presidential elections’ second round, Mr. Fernando Haddad and Mr. Jair Bolsonaro

October 24, 2018 - In this decisive moment for the future of the country, the Brazilian Coalition on Climate, Forests and Agriculture reaffirms the important commitment the country has with the world to assure humanity’s food, water and climate security.

Agribusiness is essential to our economy’s prosperity, since it corresponds to more than 20% of the Brazilian GDP. Moreover, Brazil is the third largest agricultural producer of the world, responsible for 7% of the world production, as well as one of the largest biofuels and forest products producer. At the same time, the country owns the largest tropical forest of the planet and stands in the global rank as the seventh largest carbon emitter, having more than 65% of its emissions attributed to deforestation and farming.

Brazilian agriculture depends on climatic conditions, such as rain, humidity and temperature. These conditions can only be assured by forest conservation. Protected areas, for example, whether conservation units, indigenous lands or quilombola territories, help to preserve ecosystem services that are provided by forests and fundamental to agribusinesses, such as: water, erosion reduction, mitigation of climatic extremes, and the pollinators and habitat necessary to plague and disease controllers. For this reason, the Brazilian Coalition has been stating that agricultural production and environmental conservation have to walk alongside. Our development, prosperity and well-being depend on this balance!

In this context, the Brazilian permanence in the Paris Agreement, and the legislation and environmental conservation and sustainable agriculture agendas are important to the sector: they guarantee the correct pricing of the current and future production and the Brazilian insertion in the most demanding international markets, such as Europe and Japan, in addition to maintaining the country’s historical protagonism in climate change negotiations and mitigation. Moreover, they contribute to global efforts in avoiding the temperature rise above 1.5°C, according to the most recent IPCC report developed by more than six thousand scientists.

Proposals, such as merging the Agriculture and Environment Ministries, can threaten a necessary power equilibrium that has to be respected in the context of public policies. In the past few years, the Brazilian Coalition has been working with these ministries with the goal of contributing to these areas public policies so they are in synergy and complementarity. Both agendas (environment and agriculture) are essential to guarantee the balance between environmental conservation and sustainable production, and need to be equally weighted in government’s decision making. Moreover, the Ministry of Environment’s actions go beyond agricultural and forest issues, but they also involve licensing, pollution control, the use of chemical products, water safety, among others. The strengthening of federal institutions, such as IBAMA (Brazilian Institute of the Environment and Renewable Natural Resources) and ICMBio (Chico Mendes Institute for Biodiversity Conservation), is an essential condition to assure the government’s role in this agenda.

In this context, it is crucial to emphasize that the greatest part of deforestation in Brazil comes from illegal activity. Fighting this illegality should be any government’s priority. Therefore, strengthening control authorities – including the Public Prosecution –, remote sensing technologies and data transparency should be guarded as not only means for environmental protection, but also for protecting the great majority of rural producers, who follow the law and suffer from transgressor’s unfair competition. Command and control actions are necessary and desirable to fight illegal deforestation and repress the illegal trade of timber, livestock, grains and other products.

Besides inspecting, the government also needs to implement the Forest Code’s mechanisms, which aim at solving the country’s environmental liabilities and at valuing landowners that follow the legislation and contribute to forest conservation. The Brazilian Coalition was created in a turbulent political moment of the country, in which the actors of the climate, forests and agriculture agendas were disarticulated due to the many divergences over debates that resulted in the approval of the current Forest Code. It was the desire to gather efforts in searching for common goals that mobilized these actors again. Without democracy, dialogue and transparency, this alliance would never have been possible.

Our movement is proof of the value that the democratic exercise of dialogue among the different sectors of society can represent. The more than 180 members, among agribusiness representatives, environmental defense entities, academia and financial sector, don’t share the same point of view, but they believe in the plural dialogue to build bridges, come up with solutions, and search for consensus. For this reason, the Brazilian Coalition cherishes the democratic environment to manifest its members’ point of view, the trust and respect among parties, on behalf of a new economy: based on low carbon emissions, and biodiversity and ecosystems protection.

This diversity is the centerpiece to deal with 21st century and climate change’s challenges. Therefore, the respect to public institutions needs to be assured as a guarantee of a free environment for civil society’s activism and, at the same time, favorable to businesses. It is this dynamic that allows the country to listen and answer society’s interests.

Thus, the Brazilian Coalition reaffirms some of its principles, such as the importance of the Paris Agreement, of strengthening the fight against illegalities in the forest sector, of implementing the Forest Code and of democracy. We ask the second round presidential election candidates, Mr. Fernando Haddad and Mr. Jair Bolsonaro, to comply with this letter’s principles and make sure that they will be respected as an agenda of the government; an agenda earned by the Brazilian society. The Brazilian Coalition is a nonpartisan movement that presented 28 proposals to the main candidates of this year’s election. The Coalition will be available to dialogue with the new elected government, willing to contribute to the advance of our agenda and to the country’s sustainable development.

 

About the Brazilian Coalition

The Brazilian Coalition on Climate, Forests and Agriculture is a multisectoral movement that was born with the goal of proposing actions and influencing public policies that 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 180 companies, businesses associations, research centers and civil society organizations have joined the Brazilian Coalitioncoalizaobr.com.br/en

  • 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