Position papers
  • 17-Jul
  • 2020

The Brazilian Coalition on Climate, Forests and Agriculture, a movement formed by 200+ representatives from agribusiness, civil society, financial sector and the academia, believes that Brazil can be a forest, agricultural, and biodiversity power while conserving and expanding the country's huge natural asset. But this model only makes sense if protection of indigenous people is guaranteed.

The contribution of indigenous territories to the integrity of the Amazon biome has been proven in several studies. In addition to protecting the environment, which also benefits agricultural production, their inhabitants represent an enormous wealth and socio-cultural diversity. For this reason, whenever the defense of the territories or the ways of life of Brazilian indigenous peoples and their traditional knowledge are threatened, Brazil is also at risk.

Historically vulnerable to diseases and hostages to a poor health services structure, especially in the North, the country's 800,000+ indigenous people face a critical scenario amid the COVID-19 pandemic. According to data from IPAM (the Amazon Environmental Research Institute), the mortality rate among indigenous people is more than double that of non-indigenous people. Given this threat, it is essential to reduce circulation between cities and indigenous communities.

For this reason, the Brazilian Coalition reinforces the urgency of implementing the Emergency Plan to Combat COVID-19 in Indigenous Territories, in order to ensure access to the preventive actions and services needed by these communities. In addition, the movement views with concern the Presidency's vetoes to basic guarantees that the plan's text brought. It also concerns the Government's actions to medicate these populations with medicine whose scientific evidence has been questioned by the medical profession and the World Health Organization. Therefore, the effective participation of indigenous peoples in performing the plan is a basic principle of respect and effectiveness.

When it comes to indigenous communities, the COVID-19 crisis has been exacerbated by the constant invasion of their lands, which not only increases crime rates in these territories, but also carries the virus to these populations. It is therefore urgent for the Executive Branch to comply with the decision of the Federal Appellate Court of the 1st Circuit, which determined the immediate withdrawal of all prospectors from the Ianomami Indigenous Land – estimated 20 thousand invaders – as well as the presence of public servants from Funai (National Indian Foundation), Ibama (Brazilian Institute of Environment and Renewable Natural Resources), and the military during the pandemic to curb illegality in these areas.

Ensuring the protection of indigenous peoples and communities during and after the pandemic is to ensure that Brazil promotes and respects human rights, the environment and agriculture, which depends on the environmental services of forests. This commitment benefits the country's image, the position of Brazilian products in international markets and the people who live in and protect the forest. That is why the interest in the safety and well-being of the original peoples is of all Brazilians and a duty of the State and, thus, requires immediate Government measures.

 

About the Brazilian Coalition
The Brazilian Coalition on Climate, Forests and Agriculture is a multi-sector movement formed with the objective of proposing actions and influencing public policies that lead to the development of a low-carbon economy, with the creation of quality jobs and the fostering of innovation, Brazil’s global competitiveness and generation and distribution of wealth to the entire society. More than 200 companies, business associations, research institutes and civil society organizations have already joined the Brazilian Coalition - coalizaobr.com.br/en

  • 15-Jul
  • 2020

In recent days, important advances have been announced in the Brazilian rural credit, which may accelerate the adaptation to the Forest Code and the adoption of low carbon technologies in agriculture. The changes have already been incorporated in the Rural Credit Manual and are effective for all financial institutions since July 6, 2020.

One of the incentives to the Forest Code is the Brazilian Central Bank Rule N. 4824, which on June 18 set out the increased defrayal credit limit by up to 10% for producers who submit the validated Rural Environmental Register (CAR).

When the CAR registration became mandatory for granting credit (Rule N. 4663, valid as of 01/01/2019, except for some producer profiles, and Resolution 4828, valid as of 07/01/2020, without exceptions), there was a great incentive to register rural properties. For this reason, when requiring the CAR validated for the extension of the credit limit, an incentive to state agendas to advance this important stage of validation of registrations is created, so that we take another step forward in the implementation of the Forest Code. It is also a sign of alignment between the allocation of public resources and the interests of society.

Still in line with the Forest Code, whose article 41 encourages environmental adequacy and the adoption of good agricultural practices, the 2020/2021 Safra Plan, announced on June 17, brought relevant changes and encouragement.

Even in a pandemic scenario, there was an increase of 20% in the resources allocated to the ABC Program, the main support line for low carbon agriculture and for the adoption of good practices in the field. The reduced interest rate (Rule N. 4827) is another indication of this Program's differentiation, whose rates are second only to Pronaf (National Agriculture Support Program), aimed at small producers.

In addition, ABC Ambiental now also allows to finance the acquisition of Environmental Reserve Quotas (CRA) (Rules N. 4824 and 4827) to offset Legal Reserve areas. This measure can be one of the main bases for a market for Payments for Environmental Services in Brazil, encouraging preservation by owners with of forest surpluses and paying for this great contribution to society.

Such advances in rural credit are the result of a long history of dialogue between the Ministries of Economy and Agriculture with society as they heard suggestions on how to improve these tools. The Brazilian Coalition on Climate, Forest and Agriculture recognizes and congratulates the teams and leaders of these ministries for the changes, which had contributions from the movement's network, composed of 200+ representatives of agribusiness, civil society, financial sector and academia.

There are still major challenges for rural credit to continue moving towards sustainability. Financial institutions need to recognize the importance of the Forest Code in their risk assessment even more. This recognition can encourage the large-scale adoption of more sustainable agricultural practices, in order to contribute to the mitigation and adaptation to climate changes and to reduce the risk of investments. In addition, enabling technical assistance and rural extension to producers can boost investment credit taking.

It is important to remember, however, that nearly 70% of the total agribusiness credit in 2019 was contributed by the private sector and by capital from the rural producers themselves. The engagement and concern of private investors with the climate, forestry and agriculture agenda is key and has been growing.

For this reason, public and private credit policies need continuous improvement to ensure that all financing in Brazil complies with environmental legislation and induces sustainable land use. In this sense, rural properties that have illegal deforestation after 2008 should not access funds provided by the Safra Plan. The Brazilian Coalition will continue to be available to the government and society in order to improve these tools and gather the necessary efforts for their implementation.

 

About the Brazilian Coalition
The Brazilian Coalition on Climate, Forests and Agriculture is a multi-sector movement formed with the objective of proposing actions and influencing public policies that lead to the development of a low-carbon economy, with the creation of quality jobs and the fostering of innovation, Brazil’s global competitiveness and generation and distribution of wealth to the entire society. More than 200 companies, business associations, research institutes and civil society organizations have already joined the Brazilian Coalition - coalizaobr.com.br/en

  • 05-Jun
  • 2020

During this World Environment Day, the Brazilian Coalition on Climate, Forests, and Agriculture warns, once more, about the severe scenario of illegal deforestation and fire outbreaks in the Amazon. They have been representing a high risk to biodiversity, climate, water security, and have been devastating to traditional peoples and the country’s reputation for markets, investors, and society in general.

According to MapBiomas, 99% of all the deforestation in Brazil in 2019 has definite signs of illegal activities, i.e., occurred in protected areas that have restrictions regarding vegetation removal or without authorization. About 75% of deforestation in 2019 coincides with lands registered in the Rural Environmental Registry (CAR). Therefore, it is possible to associate an Individual or General Taxpayer Registry Number (CPF – for individuals and CNPJ – for businesses) with the area deforested.

A recent trend indicates the deforestation rate will set a new record of the decade in 2020. Data from INPE's DETER system registered 5,666 squared kilometers of the Brazilian Amazon deforested between August of 2019 and April of 2020, the equivalent of a 95% increase compared to the period between August 2018 and April 2019. In April, according to data from Imazon, Brazil has lost part of the Amazon Forest equivalent to the size of the city of Porto Alegre (RS). It was 529 square kilometers destroyed, an increase in 171% compared with April last year.

Studies from IPAM indicate that 2019’s fire season in the Amazon was connected to the increase in deforestation and not with the typical weather of the dry season in the region. Actions to combat the flames avoided that the fire scenarios in 2019 became even worse. However, they were not able to contain the increase in deforestation.

The Amazon Council needs to establish a coordinated and continuous action with all the Amazon region's environmental inspection agencies. Brazil has excellent laws that, if implemented, will bring answers to the fight against unlawfulness.

One of the central pillars of the maintenance of Amazon's integrity and its benefits to the country is the proper treatment of public areas in that biome, currently highly vulnerable. There was an increase in 50% of deforestation in Conservation Units, Indigenous Lands, unassigned areas and land without information between January and March 2020 compared to the same period last year. In these areas, land grabbing and theft of natural resources occur; both are crimes against public assets that demand effective and immediate action from the State. In addition to public assets damaging, land grabbing also has the indirect effect of associating the well succeeded and respectable Brazilian agriculture to land stealing, making this matter even more urgent to be solved.

It is necessary to act now to avoid that a more intense new season of deforestation and fires materialize this year, given the increase in deforestation in 2020 and adding the vegetation cut down in 2019 that has not been burned yet. It is essential to decree a fire moratorium from now until, at least, the end of the dry season.

To exacerbate this worrying scenario, the Executive Power, in May and April of 2020, has taken measures that compromise inspection and conservation of our forests. The dismissals in the inspection sector of IBAMA and the normative ruling of Funai to legalize farms in indigenous lands in the process of homologation go against combating environmental crimes. Such measures should be reviewed by the Amazon Council to avoid the weakening of the environmental institutions and policies.

The image and the commercial position of the country have never been so compromised. The collective work that took decades to build a good reputation is quickly being undone.

This scenario goes beyond environmental urgency. Brazil’s GDP and future growth are intrinsically connected to the protection of the Amazon. Businesses, particularly the agricultural sector, depend upon the maintenance of ecosystem services, such as the rain. Our forests act as Brazilian agriculture's "sprinkler." Besides the water, there are many other ecosystem services, such as pollination of crops, which directly benefits food production.

Also, today Amazon is the epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic crisis. The crisis demonstrated the interdependence of the system and the need to integrate social and environmental dimensions.

There is no Brazil without an Amazon economically and socially prosperous, and environmentally preserved. The image of the forest and its populations preserved is the image of the country. Therefore, fighting against unlawfulness in the Amazon, based on permanent, continuous, and coordinated actions, with wide participation and support from society, is the only path possible for a Brazil that desires to be understood by the world as a nation that is serious, vigilant of its laws, and in search of sustainable trajectories of development.

Brazil had already shown that it is capable of behaving like that and has successful experience in drastically reducing deforestation when it implemented the Action Plan for Prevention and Control of Deforestation in the Legal Amazon. The sectors that are part of the Brazilian Coalition – with more than 200 representatives of agribusiness, civil society, financial sector, and academia – support the urgent resumption of this initiative as the solution.

 

About the Brazilian Coalition
The Brazilian Coalition on Climate, Forests and Agriculture is a multi-sector movement formed with the objective of proposing actions and influencing public policies that lead to the development of a low-carbon economy, with the creation of quality jobs and the fostering of innovation, Brazil’s global competitiveness and generation and distribution of wealth to the entire society. More than 200 companies, business associations, research institutes and civil society organizations have already joined the Brazilian Coalition - coalizaobr.com.br/en

  • 25-May
  • 2020

Since 2009, Brazilian legislation has already allowed land tenure regularization of small producers’ private properties (properties of up to 4 fiscal modules) to be carried out without the need for a field inspection, with the support of other means of proof, such as remote sensing, to certify the occupation. Such properties account for 95% of all private property holders without land titles registered with INCRA. Therefore, the real obstacles to the regularization of this great majority are not clear.

It is essential to understand the obstacles that render the current law and administrative structure unable to solve the problem of land tenure regularization, in addition to their failure to prevent the increase in deforestation in small and medium-sized properties¹. It is necessary to carry out a more in-depth diagnosis and consider adding mechanisms that effectively fight illegality. For this reason, we need more time to improve the Bill (PL) 2633/2020, which converted most of the text of Provisional Measure (MP) 910/2019, and should not be subjected to an urgency vote.

Throughout the processing of MP 910, the Brazilian Coalition on Climate, Forests and Agriculture maintained an open dialogue with several interlocutors from the government and Congress². Hence, we recognize that there were many advances in relation to the original text. However, some of the points still need to be more deeply discussed.

Such points include the strengthening of government bodies such as INCRA, a key element for the implementation of any land tenure legislation. In addition, land tenure liabilities must also take into consideration public areas, which have been suffering increasing invasions and land grabbing. A debate on the issuing of land titles to settlers and the allocation of more than 60 million hectares of public forests not designated for conservation and sustainable use is essential.

Considering that the dialogue on the topic is complex, requires the participation of different sectors of society and cannot be carried out during the pandemic and the remote work operation of the Legislative branch, the Brazilian Coalition suggests that Congress install a Special Commission, with due validity and mandate, to bring together experts and prepare studies that support the proposals to be debated. Meanwhile, the Executive branch could move forward with land tenure regularization of small properties, as well as the resumption of legitimization processes concerning indigenous and quilombola lands and the creation of Conservation Units, based on our current legislation. The Brazilian Coalition will be available to the Commission and Congress to contribute to this debate.

 

About the Brazilian Coalition

The Brazilian Coalition on Climate, Forests and Agriculture is a multi-sector movement formed with the objective of proposing actions and influencing public policies that lead to the development of a low-carbon economy, with the creation of quality jobs and the fostering of innovation, Brazil’s global competitiveness and generation and distribution of wealth to the entire society. More than 200 companies, business associations, research institutes and civil society organizations have already joined the Brazilian Coalition - coalizaobr.com.br/en

 

1 https://www.nature.com/articles/s41893-020-0537-2.epdf
2 The Brazilian Coalition expressed opinions on MP 910 - on the following dates: 05/08/20, 05/06/20, 05/03/20, 04/16/20, 04/02/20, 03/18/20, 02/12/20 and 02/06/20. All of the Coalition’s opinions are based on proposals contained in 2030-2050 Vision, in the Proposals for 2018 Election Candidates and in the movement’s Base Document.

  • 06-May
  • 2020

Dear Mrs. Minister Tereza Cristina,

The Brazilian Coalition on Climate, Forests and Agriculture recognizes the effort from the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Supply (MAPA) and Deputy Zé Silva, rapporteur of the Provisional Measure (MP) 910/2019, in improving the original document of the MP 910/2019. We stress the progress of the current report, presented on May 4, 2020, to not change the timeline currently in place, since this decision strengthens the Forest Code. It leads to stopping the cycle of periodically postponing the deadline to legalize land occupation and, therefore, sends a strong message to invaders that this situation can no longer repeat or continue.

However, the current report exacerbates still unsolved problems, such as the waiver of an in-person inspection for occupations of up to 15 fiscal modules. The proposal presented by the Coalition recommends the waiver of an in-person inspection of properties of up to four fiscal modules, which would solve the situation of 102,000 (95% of the total) private properties without titles registered with INCRA. The increase of self-declaration from 4 to 15 fiscal modules increases the area to be provided by 52% (from 5.4 million hectares to 8.4 million hectares), with only 4,898 additional landholders.

We did not find technical reasons for any of the interested parties for this expansion in only 4.5% of the properties since the proposal sent by the Coalition already contemplates small landholders. It is precisely in this small percentage of properties that lies the higher risk of the MP becoming a stimulus to land grabbing.

Besides, although the current report has removed the definition of an environmental infraction, it establishes that only properties under seizure or environmental violation after the depletion of administrative procedures are subject to mandatory inspection. Also, the MP proposes to exonerate the land tenure agency with remote mechanisms. Still, it does not take into consideration that the same remote instruments - that in MAPA's opinion are enough to determine land occupation and proper use - are also used to determine illegal deforestation. We suggest that the MP contemplates the use of these tools to verify illegalities.

We hope that the Ministry of Agriculture and Congress can accept our latest contributions. The approval of this MP with a waiver of inspections limited to properties with up to 4 fiscal modules and the requirement of compliance with environmental laws will promote a vital land tenure legalization policy towards the sustainable future of land use. This type of policy is the one embraced by the most diverse sectors of society during the sensitive moment in which the country deserves to give good news and make a tremendous socio-economic and environmental commitment to the world. It would be a real political intelligence and win-win move, as well as an eternal legacy from the government.

Lastly, we suggest that, from a possible approval of this MP 910 focusing exclusively on small owners, a new process of discussion on land tenure legislation for medium landowners begin. The Brazilian Coalition will be available to contribute to this process.

Sincerely,

André Guimarães – Coalition’s Co-Facilitator and Executive-Director of the Amazon Environmental Research Institute (IPAM)

Marcello Brito – Coalition’s Co-Facilitator and President of the Board of Directors of the Brazilian Agribusiness Association (Abag)

 

About the Brazilian Coalition
The Brazilian Coalition on Climate, Forests and Agriculture is a multi-sector movement formed with the objective of proposing actions and influencing public policies that lead to the development of a low-carbon economy, with the creation of quality jobs and the fostering of innovation, Brazil’s global competitiveness and generation and distribution of wealth to the entire society. More than 200 companies, business associations, research institutes and civil society organizations have already joined the Brazilian Coalition - coalizaobr.com.br/en

  • 16-Apr
  • 2020

Dear leaders of the Brazilian Legislative Branch,

Brazil is urging to solve a deadlock that has been getting worse over the decades: land tenure legalization. This is an essential step to eliminate conflicts, bring legal security, increase investments and offer economic inclusion to many rural producers. Therefore, land tenure legalization is a paramount condition to the economic, social and environmental development of the country.

That said, Brazilian Coalition on Climate, Forests and Agriculture – a movement that gathers more than 200 representatives from the agribusiness, third sector and academia – requests you that the Provisional Measure (MP) 910/2019 does not get placed on the calendar to vote.

This MP was presented as a supposed solution to the land tenure challenge. However, it has severe impacts on combating illegality, especially in combating land grabbing and the consequent growth of illegal deforestation and agrarian distress.

The MP 910/2019 goes in the opposite direction of good land management since it shows invaders that crime has no consequence. Who would be interested in this mistake? In a position paper about the MP 910, the Coalition has detailed this and other risks from this measure.

Due to this concern, the Coalition has started a dialogue with the Ministry of Agriculture and the National Institute for Colonization and Agrarian Reform (Incra) to find a content for the MP 910 that would allow to 1) take advantage and improve positive actions, such as the use of technology in the land tenure legalization process; and 2) correct severe flaws of the MP 910 based on data and technical information. This dialogue continues and we have the hope that our contributions will be heard and followed by the Executive Branch.


Thus, we warn that MP 910’s current content, presently with the Congress, concerns the members of the Coalition, as it does not resonate with important names and organizations from the sectors of our economy.

We believe that it is necessary to think of a new proposal for the land tenure challenge, one that contemplates a wide debate among the diverse sectors of society and still considers the necessary economic recovery post-COVID-19 pandemic, especially in rural areas with a specific focus on family farming and communities arrangements. National Congress members know they can rely on all the support and knowledge of our network to build a solution capable of: using the most modern technology available, enforcing existing laws, benefiting good land occupants, and bringing security and investments to the country.


Sincerely,

André Guimarães – Coalition’s Co-Facilitator and Executive-Director of the Amazon Environmental Research Institute (IPAM)

Marcello Brito – Coalition’s Co-Facilitator and President of the Board of Directors of the Brazilian Agribusiness Association (Abag)

 

About the Brazilian Coalition
The Brazilian Coalition on Climate, Forests and Agriculture is a multi-sector movement formed with the objective of proposing actions and influencing public policies that lead to the development of a low-carbon economy, with the creation of quality jobs and the fostering of innovation, Brazil’s global competitiveness and generation and distribution of wealth to the entire society. More than 200 companies, business associations, research institutes and civil society organizations have already joined the Brazilian Coalition - coalizaobr.com.br/en