Position papers
  • 18-Mar
  • 2020

The organizations, collectives and signatory networks of this letter, members and partners of the Rede de Advocacy Colaborativo (RAC), Observatório do Clima (OC), Brazilian Coalition on Climate, Forests and Agriculture, Observatório do Código Florestal (OCF) and GT Infraestrutura require from the President of the Federal Senate and the National Congress, Senator Davi Alcolumbre, to suspend the consideration and vote of polemic matters of high public interest and that can cause harmful effects on the environment, the economy and to the Brazilian society while the restriction of access to the Senate remains, except for urgent matters related with confronting the crisis associated with the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to data from the Ministry of Health, the new coronavirus responsible for the transmission of the respiratory syndrome COVID-19 has already caused more than 290 infections in all national territory. This week two deaths caused by this virus, in São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, have been confirmed. Since the World Health Organization (WHO) has declared coronavirus outbreak a pandemic, on March 11, a series of recommendations have been issued by health surveillance agencies and other public health agencies to avoid the exponential increase of the contamination and a possible overburden of the health system.

Because of this, several organizations, public agencies and companies have suspended employees’ in-person work and public events for the next weeks – the Chamber of Deputies itself has canceled their schedules and significantly restricted access of citizens to their facilities, and many Senate sessions are being canceled since this Monday (17). Also, the dismissal of senators above 65 years of age indicates that about 1/3 of the representatives of the House will be apart from the main debates that continue this week.

As suspensions or confirmations of deliberative sessions (even when online) are occurring in real-time and some of them during session times, the country is at serious risk of watching highly important topics for our citizenship (fundamental and inalienable rights) being voted by the Parliament with an extremely low quorum and under no transparent and participative public debate.

Among the matters of very relevant national public interest which can be voted at any time, we highlight the Provisional Measure (MPV) 910/2019, about land tenure legalization across Brazil. This MPV notably stimulates and awards land grabbers, criminals and environmental offenders, not only, but above all in the Amazon, and brings easiness, incentives, amnesties, and unacceptable discounts to acquire the title of land illegally occupied. According to studies from Esalq/USP and UFMG, 43 million hectares of public land (equivalent to the states of São Paulo and Paraná combined) will be affected by the rules of this MPV in Legal Amazon alone, and 35% of all deforestation between 2018 and 2019 has occurred precisely in this area.

In this regard, we remember the commitment made by you, Senator Alcolumbre, during the Conference of the Parties on Climate Change (COP 25) in Madrid, in December of 2019, to not allow the advancement – in the Chamber of Deputies – of legislative measures involving setbacks in environmental protection norms and impacts on traditional populations.

During COP 25, you have explicitly stated:

“We will not accept backtracks in environmental policy. We will not consider matters that can threaten forests and traditional peoples”.

Matters such as these, of extreme relevance and impact to national public heritage, need to be discussed widely and democratically, without any restrictions of entry of people (citizens and society organizations), parliamentarians, political parties, leaderships and assistances of the Legislative House, and with wide and total transparency and participation of civil society.


Brasília, March 17, 2020.

Sign this letter,

- Associação dos Povos Indigenas do Brasil (APIB)
- Campanha Nacional pelo Direito à Educação
- Coalizao Não ao Fracking Brasil (COESUS)
- Conselho Nacional dos Seringueiros (CNS)
- Conselho Nacional de Populações Extrativistas
- FBOMS Fórum Brasileiro de ONGs e movimentos sociais para desenvolvimento e meio ambiente
- FORUM de Mudanças Climáticas e Justiça Social
- GT Infraestrutura na Amazônia
- Observatorio do Clima (OC)
- Observatório do Carvão Mineral (OCM)
- Observatorio do Código Florestal (OCF)
- Observatório do Petróleo e Gás (OPG)
- Rede Grupo de Trabalho Amazônico (GTA)
- Rede de ONGs da Mata Atlantica (RMA)
- Amigos da Terra - Amazônia Brasileira
- APREC Ecossistemas Costeiros
- APREMAVI
- Artigo 19
- ASCEMA Nacional
- Associação Mineira de Defesa do Ambiente (AMDA)
- Associação para a Gestão Socioambiental do Triângulo Mineiro (Anga)
- CLIMAInfo
- Clímax Brasil
- Conectas Direitos Humanos
- Engajamundo
- Fundación Avina
- Fundação Grupo Esquel Brasil
- Fundação SOS Mata Atlântica
- Gestos - Soropositividade, Comunicação e Gênero
- Greenpeace Brasil
- Hivos - Instituto Humanista para Cooperação e Desenvolvimento
- ICLEI América do Sul
- IDESAM
- IMAZON
- Iniciativa Verde
- InPACTO
- Instituto Akatu
- Instituto BVRio
- Instituto Ethos de Empresas e Responsabilidade Social
- Instituto Sociedade, População e Natureza (ISPN)
- Instituto Centro de Vida (ICV)
- Instituto Democracia e Sustentabilidade - IDS
- Instituto de Estudos Ambientais Mayer Natura
- Instituto de Estudos Socioeconômicos (INESC)
- Instituto Energia e Meio Ambiente (IEMA)
- Instituto Internacional Arapyara
- Instituto Internacional de Educação para o Brasil (IEB)
- Instituto de Pesquisa Ambiental da Amazônia (Ipam)
- Instituto de Pesquisas Ecológicas (IPÊ)
- Instituto Socioambiental (ISA)
- International Rivers Network (IRN)
- Imaflora
- Instituto de Políticas de Transporte Sustentável (ITDP Brasil)
- Open Knowledge Brasil
- Projeto Saúde & Alegria
- Sociedade de Pesquisa em Vida Selvagem é Educação Ambiental (SPVS)
- SOS Amazônia
- 350.org
- Uma gota no Oceano
- WWF - Brasil

  • 12-Feb
  • 2020

The Brazilian Coalition on Climate, Forests and Agriculture – which gathers more than 200 representatives, of agribusiness, environmental defense entities and academia, that seek to promote the conservation and sustainable land use in the country – understands that the land tenure legalization of public lands occupied for decades is an essential step towards eliminating conflicts, providing legal security, allowing the economic inclusion of rural producers, promoting social justice, and allowing good governance in Brazilian territory. Land tenure legalization also promotes efficient land use, stimulates owners to do long-term investments, and allows the identification and punishment of those responsible for environmental infractions.

However, instead of proposing measures to update and improve the management of land tenure bodies in order to promote an efficient legalization that respects safeguards, the government has chosen to present Provisional Measure 910 of 2019 (MP 910) to the Congress. This measure regards “land tenure legalization of occupations located in areas of the Brazilian Federal Government.”

The changes in current legislation promoted by this Provisional Measure go in the opposite direction of what is expected in the process of land tenure legalization in the country, especially in the Amazon. By authorizing that recent illegal occupations (until December of 2018) are legalized, including the occupation of large areas (up to 2,500 hectares), MP 910 is validating criminal practices of land grabbing and stimulating its occurrence in the future. It is sending criminal groups the clear message that crime pays off.

The justification presented by the Federal Government to extend the deadline from 2008 to 2014 or 2018 has no foundation since it disregards Forest Code’s time marker for environmental regularizations, which is July 22, 2008¹. Also, the Provisional Measure intends to give more advantages to those who already received the property title but haven’t been paying what they owe for the land or are not compliant with the obligations imposed. In predicting soft billing rules for defaulting owners and changing once more renegotiation deadlines, the provisional measure discredits that such rules will continue to exist or be enforced. This stimulates more defaulting and rural violence.

Another serious problem is the stimulation of public land grabbing generated by the expectation of obtaining titles for recently occupied areas and through the trade of lands below market value. The illegal expansion over public lands means a loss of over 70 billion reais to public funds². MP 910 practically annuls the possibility of stopping the expansion of the agricultural frontier over native vegetation areas. Currently that is a very serious problem. According to MapBiomas, more than 90% of the deforestation happening in the Amazon is illegal. Also, according to data from the Amazon Environmental Research Institute (IPAM), 35% of the deforestation in the Amazon (2018-19) occurred in public lands subjected to land grabbing³. The profitability of the invasion business, deforestation, and the trade of public lands will continue to induce a disorderly expansion, one without agronomic or environmental reasonability, based on power, and not following the best project for land use. In the short term, this scenario will drive away investors and buyers of our agricultural commodities⁴, and, in the medium and long term, it will create problems to agricultural production by interrupting natural cycles that guarantee rainfall in most of the country. Therefore, in addition to the agricultural sector itself, it harms Brazilian society as a whole.

In extending titling by self-declaration to properties of up to 15 fiscal modules – without the need for an inspection by public authorities – MP 910 will facilitate fraud and increase land tenure conflicts. The example of the Rural Environmental Registry (CAR), which is self-declared and encompasses more than 90% of rural properties in the country, shows what can happen if this alteration is approved: 95% of registered properties present some kind of overlap with other properties⁵. Therefore, to promote titling without an inspection, in this scenario, will aggravate the current situation. Tools such as the use of satellite images are not able to verify who is promoting the occupation, or if the occupation is tame and peaceful. According to the Tribunal de Contas da União (2014)⁶, the Brazilian federal accountability office, although occupations above 4 fiscal modules represent only 4% of all the properties titled by the Program Legal Land, they account for 30% of all titled area.

For these reasons, we understand that MP 910 cannot be approved as it is written. The changes it brings do not help land tenure legalization and the proper use of the Brazilian territory, but lead to an increase in land grabbing and the speculative deforestation associated with it.

For this reason, we consider that it is essential to guarantee the following:
a) Deadlines to regulate public land tenure are not altered, maintaining, at least, the same as the one of the Forest Code – July 22, 2008;
b) The possibility of legalization without the need of inspection is maintained only for the occupation of areas of up to 4 fiscal modules and mandatory inspections are determined for all properties in which the CAR is: i) canceled, or ii) with partial or total overlap with another registered property;
c) Before the legalization of land tenure of areas with deforestation, the legality of such deforestation has to be proved and, in case it is illegal, regardless of previous sanctions, the legalization can only occur after inspection. Besides, they will need to adhere to the Environmental Regularization Program (PRA), in which case, the title will have to be issued with conditions regarding the implementation of the PRA;
d) The deadline for defaulter renegotiation is not extended, maintaining this possibility only to titles issued until December 22, 2016, as it is established in the recently approved Federal Law 13.465/17. Also, in default cases, the rules of debt execution predicted by the Central Bank are applied, with the execution after 90 days of default of only one installment.

 

About the Brazilian Coalition
The Brazilian Coalition on Climate, Forests and Agriculture is a multi-sector movement that was established with the goal of proposing actions and influencing public policies that would 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 200 companies, businesses associations, research centers and civil society organizations have joined the Brazilian Coalition - coalizaobr.com.br/en

 

¹ CHIAVARI, Joana; LOPES, Cristina Leme. Nota Técnica. Medida provisória recompensa atividades criminosas: Análise da MP 910/2019 que altera o marco legal da regularização fundiária de ocupações em terras públicas federais. Rio de Janeiro: Climate Policy Initiative, 2020.
² BRITO, Brenda et al. Stimulus for land grabbing and deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon. Environmental Research Letters, v.14, n.6, p.064018, 2019
³ Available at: https://ipam.org.br/35-do-desmatamento-na-amazonia-e-grilagem-indica-analise-do-ipam/
⁴ Available at: https://www1.folha.uol.com.br/mercado/2019/12/investidores-boicotam-o-brasil-por-preocupacoes-com-desmatamento-na-amazonia.shtml
⁵ SPAROVECK, G. et alii. Nota Técnica preliminar sobre o anúncio de Medida Provisória de regularização fundiária autodeclarada.
⁶ TRIBUNAL DE CONTAS DA UNIÃO. Relatório de Auditoria de Conformidade no Programa Terra Legal Amazônia, TC 015.859/2014-2, Fiscalização 402/2014, Relator: Ministro Weder de Oliveira.

  • 04-Dec
  • 2019

On December 3rd, 2019, the Brazilian Coalition on Climate, Forests and Agriculture sent an email to the office of the Minister of the Environment with the suggestion of a strategic agenda to implement the proposals of the movement.

The agenda was created based on converging topics between the Ministry of the Environment (MMA) and the Brazilian Coalition, identified in a hearing that occurred on October 22th, 2019, with the participation of some members of the movement and the Minister.

Since the Minister expressed interest in knowing more about the specific actions supported by the Coalition, we forwarded to his office the proposals below. This reinforced the movement’s interest in keeping a dialogue with MMA and was a way of suggesting the most urgent actions to be implemented. In addition to MMA, the proposals also regard the Ministries of Economy and Agriculture.


See the complete document below:

  

STRATEGIC AGENDA PROPOSED BY THE BRAZILIAN COALITION TO THE
MINISTRIES OF ENVIRONMENT, AGRICULTURE, AND ECONOMY

FOUNDATION OF THE BRAZILIAN COALITION TO HAVE A DIALOGUE WITH THE GOVERNMENT

The Brazilian Coalition on Climate, Forests and Agriculture gathers more than 200 representatives of agribusiness, environmental defense entities, and academia that seek to promote the sustainable use of the land in the country. The reunion of these diverse sectors has as its foundation dialogue and collective participation around common goals. The Brazilian Coalition defends policies and economic incentives that seize Brazil’s comparative advantages and place the country as a global player of a new development model, in which agricultural production and environmental conservation move together, side by side.

Over its almost five years of existence, the Brazilian Coalition has always pursued the establishment of a bridge of dialogue with the Executive, Legislative, and Judiciary powers, focusing on a climate, forests, and agriculture policy.

The following premises guide the dialogue between the Brazilian Coalition with these powers:
• Balance of services to all sectors of society (private, third sector, and academia);
• Strengthening of participation spaces in public policies to contribute to governmental decisions;
• Opening of the Brazilian government to dialogue and transparency regarding its commitments.

Given the current crisis scenario in the Amazon, the response of the State and Brazilian society is urgent to safeguard our heritage and recover the country’s reputation with investors and the market. This response should have the reduction of deforestation and the improvement of the business environment for sustainable production as its final goal. For this reason, the Brazilian Coalition proposes an initial strategic agenda to the Brazilian government to stop deforestation, organize national territory (by land tenure legalization and Ecological-Economic Zoning), and to create the necessary incentives for the sustainable use of the land, based on the economic value of forests and bioeconomy.

The strategic agenda below is structured in four lines of action that are considered a priority at the present moment, but it does not lessen the importance of other actions proposed by the Brazilian Coalition in the documents available at the website (coalizaobr.com.br/en).


ILLEGAL DEFORESTATION AND LAND TENURE LEGALIZATION

According to data from Mapbiomas, most of the deforestation in Brazil is a result of illegal activities. The country needs to establish implementation means to meet its commitments, according to NDC’s climate goals, internationally recognized as one of the most ambitious among developing countries. It is necessary to adopt an assertive and effective attitude regarding the problem and put into practice policies and strategies that allow fighting illegality in all its dimensions.

Illegal deforestation is also associated with the complex challenges of land tenure legalization and land-use planning in Brazil. These challenges need to be addressed by aiming to consolidate a land-use model that guarantees legal security for investments, traditional communities, and biodiversity conservation.

Urgent actions to fight illegal deforestation and solve land tenure legalization:
• Support Amazon’s Task Force, created on August 22th, 2018, by the Federal Public Ministry, by allocating exclusively dedicated prosecutors, more part-time dedicated prosecutors, and expanding support staff.
• Install a task force to promote the destination of the 65 million hectares of undesignated public forests in existence in the Amazon for conservation and sustainable use.
• Suspend access to credit and support of land tenure legalization to all properties identified with illegal deforestation based on data from Mapbiomas and INPE.
• Establish a National Task Force involving Justice, the Executive and Legislative Powers and Public Prosecution to promote the resolution of land tenure conflicts, prioritizing areas of rural violence and those where grabbing of public lands and/or deforestation occur – assuring rights of indigenous territories, quilombolas, traditional communities and never legalizing occupations that happened irregularly.
• Guide human and financial resources towards guaranteeing the full implementation of the Forest Code, without proposing changes to this law, as the most efficient path to guarantee rural properties environmental regularization, which includes the validation of the Rural Environmental Registry (CAR) and the regulation and effective implementation of the Environmental Regularization Program (PRA) and Environmental Reserve Quotas (CRA).
• Eliminate the production from areas with illegal deforestation or illegal exploitation from Brazilian production chains by instituting mechanisms and procedures to establish the principle of co-responsibility with buyers and financers, and establishing a robust and transparent traceability program for the main agricultural and forestry products.
• Produce an annual report on deforestation, restoration, and reforestation of all Brazilian biomes.
• Reactivate and expand the Action Plan for the Prevention and Control of Deforestation in Legal Amazon (PPCDAM) and Action and Prevention Plan of Deforestation Control in the Cerrado (PPCERRADO).
• Reactivate the Amazon Fund and expand its scope, intake, and timeliness of implementation, and use part of the resources to implement the above-mentioned measures.


ECOLOGICAL-ECONOMIC ZONING (EEZ)

One of the most important tools for the agro-environmental agenda is ecological-economic zoning (EEZ). It facilitates the identification and classification of different land use according to the land’s agricultural aptitude and productive potential, as well as highlights areas essential to conservation. Despite the existence of EEZ legislation since the ‘80s, there have only been a few situations when Brazil has used this planning and territorial management tool. As a consequence, the occupation of the territory does not follow parameters that guide an economic development of those areas compatible with their characteristics and natural potential, and that guarantee their socio-environmental safeguards.

Urgent actions to implement the Ecological-Environmental Zoning (EEZ):
• Promote a study on landscape and land-use planning in all national territory to support an EEZ proposal open to public debate;
• Implement EEZ in states that already have it in a 1:250,000 scale and conduct a task force to finalize the EEZ (in the same scale) where it is not yet available;
• Reestablish zoning for sugar-cane crops that assures the non-expansion of this cultivation over native vegetation areas and adopt similar regulation for other large-scale crops, such as soy and cotton.


RECOGNITION OF THE ECONOMIC VALUE OF FORESTS

The concept of sustainability needs to be connected to a business and economic logic, beyond socio-environmental benefits and the search for the proper inducer channels is necessary for this to occur. Systems of payment by results and carbon markets are important strategic drivers in this agenda to reach the valuation of the standing forest, restoration, and reforestation for multiple purposes.

Urgent action to value standing forest:
• Immediately implement the Brazilian Market on Emission Reduction (MBRE), considering not only the reduction in emissions but also the removal of carbon from the atmosphere – as predicted in the National Policy on Climate Change (PNMC) – and signal Brazil’s interest in participating of results-based payments and carbon markets. This would create a work agenda that stimulates synergies between the market and the valuation of forest assets;
• Foster the progress of National REDD+ Strategy, reactivating the participation of civil society and the business sector in the National Commission for REED+ (CONAREDD+);
• Support the regulation of the National Policy for Environmental Services (PSA) by the Congress that recognizes the economic value of the remaining native vegetation and induces additionality regarding the law’s parameter – guaranteeing legal security to PSA initiatives already implemented in the country;
• Regulate Article 41 of the Brazilian Forest Code, about the incentives to environmental conservation and restoration in private properties, as well as other legal dispositions to value the capture, conservation, maintenance, and increase of natural carbon fixation.

 

BIOECONOMY

Brazil should also explore opportunities related to bioeconomy, an area that gathers all the sectors that use biological resources with a focus on sustainability and technology. To this end, there will be the need for R&D policies and economic incentives, besides regulatory frameworks that allow the productive sector to advance towards sustainable and more affordable productive systems – especially promoting a largely decentralized bio-industrialization. Brazil, in particular the Amazon, has all it needs to become a great socio-biodiversity power.

Urgent actions to stimulate the bioeconomy:
• Place Brazil in the global bioeconomy agenda, with a distinctive focus on the maintenance and restoration of our tropical forests;
• Include mechanisms that simplify and exonerate products of the bioeconomy in the proposal for tributary reform, in particular, those originating from the sustainable collection and management of forests and native vegetation;
• Invest public and private resources in Research and Development (R&D) for the use, conservation, and restoration of natural resources, and seize the great biological and biomimetic assets of Brazilian biodiversity. This would solidify the foundations of science, technology, and innovation to a strong bioeconomy;
• Support collaboration nets between the private sector and academia to speed R&D on bioeconomy and create innovative bio-industry models widely spread throughout Brazil to add value to products, processes, and biological knowledge of countless species of the Brazilian biodiversity;
• Set bioeconomy as the strategic focus of public policies, based on the regulatory framework, promotion programs, and market instruments that boost the sustainable production of products with innovative aspects of bio-industrialization.

 

About the Brazilian Coalition
The Brazilian Coalition on Climate, Forests and Agriculture is a multi-sector movement that was established to propose actions and influence public policies that would 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 200 companies, business associations, research centers, and civil society organizations have joined the Brazilian Coalitioncoalizaobr.com.br/en

  • 29-Aug
  • 2019

Brazilian Coalition on Climate, Forests and Agriculture Manifesto to the President of the Republic, Jair Bolsonaro.

 

The more than 200 members of the Brazilian Coalition on Climate, Forests and Agriculture, a group that brings together representatives of agribusiness, environmental protection, the financial sector, and academia, express their concern about the escalation of deforestation and illegal activities in the forest. We ask the government to use all the necessary instruments to curb these practices.


Today, over 90% of deforestation in the Amazon is illegal. Other crimes are associated with this grave scenario, such as drug trafficking and tax evasion. The current government must take the necessary measures, since it has at its disposal the military and police apparatus and, therefore, should be a reference in the fight against illegality.


It is necessary to regain control of deforestation. We have already experienced periods when a significant drop in deforestation occurred amid a cycle of leaps in agricultural productivity. This history shows that deforesting is not necessary to increase agricultural production.


Agribusiness is being hampered by illegal gangs, tarnishing the industry's reputation, increasing legal uncertainty and unfair competition for producers and companies.


Field security also involves fighting forest fires. Although fire is regularly used in some agricultural practices, it is also used as a means to illegally open areas in the forest. The relationship between deforestation and fire is particularly strong in 2019. More fires in a milder drought year indicate that deforestation may be a driving factor of the flames. Combating illegal deforestation also involves curbing invasions of indigenous lands or protected areas, including for the purpose of illegal mining.


The government should create incentives for law enforcement, controlling criminal actions and increasing vigilance over clandestine activities. This is a common agenda between agribusiness and climate and environmental organizations.


It is also an agenda of interest to investors, as agricultural activities are directly linked to the climate issue, which affects a wide range of economic sectors. Climate change could cause significant financial losses, such as the California drought in 2015, which resulted in an estimated $ 2.7 billion in agricultural losses. On the other hand, Brazil has a great opportunity to attract new resources from national and international investors if it is able to monetize its environmental assets. In addition to remunerating the maintenance of the standing forest, these resources can have direct effects on our economy, for example, by incorporating the value of Brazilian environmental assets into the country's GDP.


Science corroborates the urgency of actions to combat climate change. The latest IPCC report makes it clear that there is no shortage of evidence on the urgency of the issue. Brazil, the global leader in remote sensing technologies, increasingly needs to use its scientific data to improve its public policies.


The challenge is great, but the country has a lot to gain. With its strong and competitive agribusiness, Brazil needs to secure the post of agri-environmental power, as it is home to the largest rainforest in the world, the highest biodiversity rates and 12% of the planet's freshwater. To this end, government policies need to focus efforts on addressing the climate crisis, controlling deforestation and illegality in the field and promoting sustainable agribusiness, enabling not only the fulfillment of the Paris Agreement, but also increasing the ambition of its goals to ensure the planet's climate, water and food security.


The Brazilian Coalition, on behalf of the sectors it represents - agribusiness, environmental protection agencies, academia and the financial sector - wants to help the government advance this agenda in a participatory and collaborative manner. The movement has a set of proposals that have been presented to various ministries and legislative representatives. Beyond administrations, this is a long-term state agenda and the path to sustainable development for Brazil.

 

About the Brazilian Coalition
The Brazilian Coalition on Climate, Forests and Agriculture is a multi-sector movement that was established with the goal of proposing actions and influencing public policies that would 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 200 companies, businesses associations, research centers and civil society organizations have joined the Brazilian Coalition.

 

  • 26-Aug
  • 2019

August 23, 2019 – The year of 2020 will be a milestone in the recovery of carbon markets around the world. Starting this year, the main international agreements aiming to stop climate change and reduce the global emissions of greenhouse gases (GHG) will come into effect. Some main treaties signed include: The Paris Agreement and The Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA).


In addition to these treaties, there are many ongoing initiatives in Brazil. The National Policy on Climate Change (PNMC), established by law in 2009, promoted the development of a Brazilian Market of Emissions Reduction (MBRE). Since 2015, the country has been internally developing the Project Partnership for Market Readiness (PMR). The Brazilian Coalition on Climate, Forests and Agriculture supports the immediate implementation of the MBRE, which considers not only emissions reduction, but also, the removal of carbon from the atmosphere as predicted in the PNMC. Thus creating a work agenda that stimulates synergies between the market and the valuation of forest assets.


In the context of international initiatives, both the Paris Agreement and CORSIA predict the structuring of market mechanisms, which should be operating in the next 10 to 15 years. Such mechanisms are expected to generate incentives that are important to emissions reduction and removal in different countries and regions. Brazil is one of the countries with the highest potential to attract international investments to mitigate its emissions, especially focusing on land use, forests, and agricultural sectors.


However, in order for Brazil to successfully attract international investments, the private sector and the federal and state governments must have an active dialogue with the organized groups of Brazilian society. This dialogue would allow for an understanding of Brazil’s potential to produce and manage mitigation results and would build a balanced process that contributes to the global reduction of GHG emissions.

It is worth remembering the goals set by Brazil within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The Brazilian Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) [1] aims to reduce emissions in 37% by 2025 and 43% by 2030, compared to 2005 levels. Most of this reduction is anticipated to come from the forest, land use and agricultural sectors, presently responsible for 70% of national GHG emissions [2].


The sectorial target to eliminate illegal deforestation in the Amazon (that is presently responsible for 90% of all the deforestation of the biome [3]) should represent the largest contribution to fulfilling the Brazilian NDC. However, due to the current trend of returning to previous deforestation rates [4] (mostly in the Amazon and Cerrado), Brazil is at risk for falling short of its national goals of GHG reduction. Other crucial targets that Brazil is at risk for falling short of include: to strengthen the compliance with the Forest Code at federal, state, and municipal levels, and to restore and reforest 12 million hectares of forests for multiple uses by 2030.


Resuming the reduction and control of deforestation in the Amazon and Cerrado, as well as reforestation, will demand large volumes of financial resources and a permanent commitment from the government, private sector, and society in general. Different, yet complementary mechanisms are necessary to facilitate Brazil to reach its emissions reduction targets. Mechanisms that focus on structuring new financing strategies via market and results-based payment, capable of attracting investors, governments, and companies on behalf of the harmonic, inclusive and sustainable use of the land in Brazil, are essential to reach the national targets and promote large-scale reduction of emissions in the country.


Therefore, it is essential that Brazil implements initiatives which incentivize forest conservation and sustainable use, as well as, reforestation and restoration through a clear and effective program of forests’ environmental services valuation. It is also crucial to mobilize additional financial resources to complement the existent resources, such as, resources from international carbon markets, as predicted in the Paris Agreement (Article 6), in CORSIA/ICAO, and in the REDD+ systems.


The Brazilian Coalition defends structuring results-based payments systems and carbon markets based on four pillars. These pillars are meant to guarantee the environmental integrity of the global climate system, while promoting additional efforts to reduce emissions in countries and jurisdictions.


Carbon markets and results-based payments are a means of strategic implementation of most varied mitigation efforts. In this context, they also act as a structural incentive for sustainable efforts in order to increase ambition, which is crucial to an increased target in the Paris Agreement.


Pillar 1: Carbon markets should promote the additionality of the efforts to reduce GHG emissions. In other words, to reach respective targets, countries must primarily adopt public policies and national measures that lead to the decarbonization of their economies [5]. After reaching a certain level countries will then be able to complement these measures through GHG mitigation programs financed via carbon markets.


Pillar 2: National programs of net emissions reduction must rely on national systems of monitoring, reporting and verification (MRV) in order to participate in international carbon markets. These systems will allow a sectorial performance analysis, in addition to mitigating risks of “leaks” and double counting.


Pillar 3: The supply and demand for emissions reduction in international carbon markets should be managed in a way that they won’t abruptly affect the price of other mitigation options. However, if properly administered, the inclusion of forest credits should allow more ambitious reductions to be implemented, involving all sectors of the economy.


Pillar 4: Investments deriving from results-based payments and international carbon markets regarding the forest sector should be invested in integrated rural development. To maximize results, it is important to achieve a balance between the resources coming from deforestation reduction and the protection and restoration of forests, with the resources designated to assuring the environmental, social and economic sustainability of the landscape as a whole, for example, such as resources that consider other activities of sustainable use of the land, such as reforestation, livestock intensification, and low carbon agriculture.


Conclusion


Brazil has a unique opportunity to become prominent in a low carbon economy. A system of carbon pricing via market pricing could incentivize the country to exploit the value of its forests, thereby, generating economic assets that can contribute to the sustainable development of Brazil. However, in order to obtain this result, it is necessary to find new mechanisms that promote the forest sector to attract a new influx of investments that mitigate emissions in the country, in synergy and complementarity with existing mitigation efforts.


If activities responsible for emissions reduction in the forest sector are not supported, the fulfillment of NDC will be more difficult, take longer, and be much more costly. Additionally, this lack of support would preclude Brazil from attracting the investments needed to generate emissions removals and reduction in large scale, and to promote activities linked to the standing forest economy, such as, but not limited to: the destination of undesignated public areas, low carbon agriculture, reforestation, forest restoration, and recovery of degraded areas.

 

Notes:


[1] See: Brazilian NDC aiming to reach the goals of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, submitted to UNFCCC in 2015.
[2] SEEG, 2017
[3] Mapbiomas
[4] INPE, 2019
[5] Examples: public policies to promote energy efficiency, renewable energy, improvement in industrial processes and transportation, etc.


About the Brazilian Coalition
The Brazilian Coalition on Climate, Forests and Agriculture is a multi-sector movement that was established with the goal of proposing actions and influencing public policies that would 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 200 companies, businesses associations, research centers and civil society organizations have joined the Brazilian Coalition.

  • 30-Apr
  • 2019

May 1st, 2019 – The intensive discussions about the legislation Brazil should have in place to allow for the conciliation of the agricultural production with native vegetation’s protection took almost five years. The process that resulted in the approval of the new Forest Code, in 2012 (Federal Law 12,651/2012), was one of the most vivid debates that ever took place in the Brazilian Congress, with large mobilization and participation of the different interest groups.


After seven years since its publication, the Forest Code has already reached important results, such as the more than four million records in the Rural Environmental Registry (CAR) – equivalent to almost 100% of the area required to be registered – creating one of the most relevant geographic information systems on land use and occupation.


However, a constant scenario of legal insecurity prevents greater advances. Until last year, the deadline to register with CAR had been postponed four times consecutively, causing a delay of approximately four years in the conclusion of the registration phase. One of the consequences of this is the low adherence to Environmental Regulation Programs (PRAs); stage in which producers present their plans to solve the environmental liability they identified.


In December 2018, with the end of successive extensions of the deadline to register with CAR, it was expected that the legal security necessary to move to the regularization stage would have been installed. However, a series of Bills and Provisional Measures aiming to change mechanisms that are essential to implementing the Forest Code are being presented at Congress. These initiatives keep the legal insecurity environment and harm the efforts to implement the law.


Among the more than 190 members of the Brazilian Coalition on Climate, Forests and Agriculture, gathering representatives of agribusiness, the forest sector, environmental defense entities, and academia, there is a clear consensus: the implementation of the Forest Code, in its current configuration, is the first step to strengthen the agricultural production and, at the same time, the environmental conservation of the country. This moment has arrived and it can no longer be postponed.


The implementation of the Forest Code is also part of a set of measures against illegal deforestation and represents a way to value the efforts of rural producers that obey the law and are harmed by the unfair competition with violators. Great part of the deforestation of the Amazon is illegal. Fighting illegality should be any government’s priority. Strengthening legal agriculture contributes to the image of the sector abroad, guaranteeing access to the most demanding international markets.


Crosschecking land tenure data with land cover and use data shows us that the country has the second largest forested area in the world. One third of the native vegetation area of the country is found in private properties. This happens due to the legal requirement to keep areas of Legal Reserve and Permanent Preservation on their properties along with the excess kept by some rural producers that are above the percentage required by law.


At the same time, Brazil has the third largest agricultural production area in the world. Both experts on the subject and the Ministry of Agriculture itself agree that there is no longer the need to convert native vegetation into agricultural or livestock production areas.


The agricultural sector is the main beneficiary of conservation since its productivity is highly dependent on climatic conditions. Forests act as Brazilian agriculture’s “sprinkler”. Besides water, there are countless ecosystem services, such as pollination of the crops, that directly benefit agriculture.


Lastly, the implementation of the Forest Code is crucial to meet goals established by Brazil in the Paris Agreement. The Brazilian Coalition has already highlighted the gains the country has in remaining in the Paris Agreement, in view of its historic leading role on the topic.


It is imperative to uphold the law; we cannot waste time with new modifications on its mechanisms. For this reason, the Brazilian Coalition recommends to the National Congress and the Brazilian government that they concentrate their efforts on the next stages necessary to the effective implementation of the Forest Code. Some of the actions that urgently need to be implemented are: to direct resources to speed up CAR’s validation, to advance in PRAs regulation, to implement the instruments necessary to create a real demand for Environmental Reserve Quotas (CRA), and to regulate the article of the law regarding financial incentives to protect native vegetation – including payment for environmental services and the creation of the Brazilian Market on Emissions Reduction.


The Forest Code is the instrument essential for the sustainability of the agribusiness, for the development of the country, and for the welfare of all Brazilians. Its effective implementation can wait no more.


About the Brazilian Coalition


The Brazilian Coalition on Climate, Forests and Agriculture is a multi-sector 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 190 companies, businesses associations, research centers and civil society organizations have joined the Brazilian Coalitioncoalizaobr.com.br/en