16 September 2020 – Brasilia, Brazil – Deforestation in the Amazon is threatening Brazil's development, and not just because of increased requirements placed on local agricultural producers by governments, investors, importers and international retailers. The rapid pace of deforestation is now threatening rural producers by dramatically changing rainfall patterns that today guarantee agricultural production throughout the country. This economic catastrophe can be avoided with just “Six Actions” already within Brazil’s means, which can immediately and permanently reduce deforestation, especially in the legal Amazon – but only if implemented urgently and effectively. This is the message that leading agribusiness and environmental organizations are sending together to the Government of Brazil.
Their urgent call-to-action is being delivered to President Jair Bolsonaro; Vice President Hamilton Mourão, who chairs the Amazon Council; and to Brazil’s ministers of agriculture, environment, economy, science and technology; as well as to members of the House and Senate.
The “Six Actions” have been developed by the Brazil Climate, Forests and Agriculture Coalition, which represents more than 200 agribusiness, finance, civil society and academia entities. They also support the recent mobilization of investors, private sector leaders, and civil society groups who have raised increased concerns about Amazon deforestation.
The “Six Actions” to reduce Amazon deforestation urgently and permanently are:
- Resume and enhance surveillance, with rapid and exemplary accountability for identified environmental illegalities
- Suspend the Rural Environmental Registry (CAR) covering public forest and accountability for any illegal deforestation
- Reserve 10 million hectares for protection and sustainable use
- Grant financing per social and environmental criteria
- Full transparency and efficiency of vegetation clearance authorities
- Suspend of all land settlement processes for properties that have been deforested after July 2008
"Uncontrolled Amazon deforestation is one of the greatest risks to the Brazilian economy today. This is because our country is highly dependent on the regular rainfall that the forest provides for agribusiness, as well as for electricity and water supplies in cities and for industries," warns André Guimarães, co-facilitator of the Brazil Coalition and director of Instituto de Pesquisa Ambiental da Amazonia, or Amazon Environmental Research Institute.
"Serious and responsible agribusiness runs the risk of being penalized in its exports if the country does not combat environmental crimes in the Amazon," warns Marcello Brito, co-facilitator of the Brazil Coalition and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Brazilian Agribusiness Association. "We cannot waste any more time with radicalism and sterile antagonisms, which prevent the country from moving forward. There are ways, practical and feasible, to face the problem and it is in the solutions that we need to focus now," he adds.
The priority of the Brazil Coalition members was to propose solutions – actions that can combat the causes of deforestation, and which can be implemented immediately and provide permanent results. In this respect, it is not only a question of monitoring and punishing illegal actions. The goal is to create a hostile environment for criminals who are destroying the forest without generating economic or social benefits for local populations, and who are tarnishing the image of agribusiness.
In addition to presenting its proposals, the Brazil Coalition is making itself available to the Government of Brazil as an information resource, a bridge to different sectors, and for any other support or role that it can play to help the government accelerate solutions to the current urgent and serious scenario facing the nation.
This initiative is adding to a growing movement in favor of more sustainable models of development in the Amazon. International concern about Amazon deforestation and burning was expressed at the World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting in Davos in January of this year. This was marked by the arrival of Brazil’s dry season, which brought fires and destruction to the Amazon biome.
This advancing movement has also included international investors delivering strong statements of concern on Brazil’s environmental issues to Brazilian embassies in eight countries. Additionally, CEOs and sector entities addressed Vice President Hamilton Mourão, Parliament and the Supreme Court requesting an end to Amazon deforestation. These actions were also followed by a letter from Brazil’s former finance ministers and former Central Bank presidents to President Jair Bolsonaro, while the country’s three largest private banks forwarded to the government a plan for the Amazon.
More information about the Brazil Coalition and the “Six Action” to reduce Amazon deforestation and protect Brazil’s valuable agribusiness sector, is available at www.coalizaobr.com.br.
About the Brazil Coalition
The Brazil Climate, Forestry and Agriculture Coalition is a multisectoral movement that was formed in 2015 with the objective of proposing actions and influencing public policies that lead to the development of a low-carbon economy, creating quality jobs, stimulating innovation, Brazil's global competitiveness and generating and distributing wealth to society as a whole. More than 200 companies, business associations, research centers and civil society organizations have already joined the coalition – www.coalizaobr.com.br
Silvia Dias, Aviv Comunicacao, +55 11 99191-7456, firstname.lastname@example.org
Fernanda Macedo, Brazil Coalition, +55 11 98545-0237, email@example.com