José Sarney Filho, Brazil's Environment Minister, spoke about the country's ambitious restoration commitments announced at COP13. Read his entire speech here.
Mr Jorge Rescala, Director General of the Mexican National Forest Commission,
Ministers and colleagues,
Debating forests in the context of the theme selected for this Conference – mainstreaming conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity in order to promote well-being - is especially important not only for forest countries, but also for humanity as a whole. We must, of course, efficiently manage our protected forested areas. Challenges associated with climate change and the accelerated loss of biodiversity require the implementation of policies to combat deforestation and forest degradation.
We must also recognize and protect traditional and indigenous knowledge associated to the use of biodiversity, guaranteeing the well-being of local inhabitants. It seems to me, however, absolutely essential that we promote strategies that help create viable and sustainable economic alternatives for the millions living in forest communities, strategies that are adapted to each national situation, policies that recognize the economic and social value of forest resources, considering that 25 million people live the Brazilian Amazon alone.
The tools developed and the treaties negotiated under the aegis of this Convention offer an important platform for international cooperation in this regard.
Over the last 30 years, Brazil developed a system for managing the production of timber in the Amazon Forest, which brings together use and conservation of forestry resources. In addition, my country set in place a framework with rules that include the implemention of Sustainable Forest Management Plans, Annual Operational Plans and forest management evaluation by means of technical visits. Currently, the Brazilian Forestry Service has five National Forests under concession. These experiences have proven to generate significant environmental, economic and social benefits.
The Brazilian government, in partnership with the national private sector, has been implementing, since 2006, the Soy Moratorium, which forbids the sale of soy produced in deforested areas. We have shown that preventing illegal deforestation and increasing productive areas are possible, in practice. The initiative contributed to the reduction of deforestation related to soy crops in 86% in the municipalities that are responsible for 98% of soy produced in the Amazon.
We have achieved impressive results in combatting deforestation. However, we recognize that much is still to be done. We will continue forging ahead, expanding and perfecting our monitoring and control technologies while promoting social and productive inclusion in the sustainable use of forest resources and associated biodiversity. For that, we need solid and continuous investments, to help us expand and perfect the means of combating deforestation and promoting the sustainable management of Brazilian forests.
The National Action Plans for Preventing and Controlling Deforestation are main policy tools to help us achieve the goals of reducing deforestation and that have contributed to the reduction of deforestation rates by 70% in the Amazon, compared to the average between 1996 and 2005. We have reduced deforestation rates by approximately 40% in the cerrado biome, compared to the average between 1999 and 2008.
The new Forestry Code established the Environmental Rural Registry, an online public national registry, which georreferences properties, at the national level, in order to keep track of and integrate environmental information on rural properties. Currently, over 99% of properties have already been registered in the country. This Registry is a fundamental tool for developing territorial policies. It is an essential element for the elaboration of the Ministry of the Environment’s Ecological Corridors Program.
The Brazilian Government is developing a national plan to support activities that help recover native vegetation by means of strengthening public policies, providing financial incentives and improving markets and best agricultural practices. This will help achieve the Aichi Biodiversity Target no 15 and the corresponding national 2020 biodiversity target, which establishes the restoration of at least 15% of degraded ecosystems as well as support the NDC.
The Ecological Corridors Program is being put together to promote synergies between the various different aspects of Brazilian environmental policies, qualifying the identification of protected areas and conservation units by means of their contiguous areas, that may be used by various productive sectors, such as agriculture, livestock, transportation, energy and industry. Next Monday, December 5, at 1:15 pm at the Africa Oceania room we will be holding a side event on ecological corridors.
Latin America and the Caribbean have the largest protected area in the world with almost five thousand square kilometers. Almost half of this area is in Brazil, making us into the country that has the largest system of protected areas in the planet, corresponding to 2.47 million square kilometers.
We hope to surpass these results over the next years, by means of efforts such as the consolidation of the largest forest conservation program in the world, the Amazon Protected Areas (ARPA). This program has an innovative financial strategy, that drew on important public and private donations, from partner countries and involved partnerships with non governmental and international organizations. We thus expect to easily meet the goal of establishing 60 million hectares of protected areas by 2019, consolidating the management of the current conservation areas and creating another 6 million hectares in new conservation areas.
Another important point I’d like to raise is that we will stand firm behind our commitment to ensure Brazil’s sustainable development, with social inclusion and the conservation of biodiversity. This is a challenge that we face with determination, certain that our efforts shall generate results that contribute to achieve the Aichi Targets.
The Government of the Federative Republic of Brazil is pleased to announce its voluntary contribution to the Bonn Challenge and Initiative 20x20.
Our ambition is to restore, reforest and induce the natural revegetation of 12 million hectares of forests by 2030 for multiple purposes. In addition, with a view to further scale Brazil's adaptation efforts guided by the Low-Carbon Agriculture Plan (ABC Plan), we aim to implement, by 2030, 5 million hectares of integrated agricultural systems that combine crops, livestock and forestry, in any way.
Brazil's voluntary contribution to Initiative 20x20 also includes the restoration of 5 million ha of degraded pastures by 2020, as well as other technologies aimed at increasing the resilience of Brazilian agriculture to climate change.
Achieving the above contributions will require investment, as well as technology development, deployment, diffusion and transfer. Brazil welcomes the opportunity to cooperate with all participants and supporters of the Bonn Challenge and of Initiative 20x20 to mobilize technical and financial resources and to guide investment in Brazil with a view to generate global benefits.
The Brazilian voluntary contribution is not additional to any other that has been or may be declared by public or private entities related to the Brazilian territory.
This voluntary contribution includes measures that Brazil intends to adopt in implementing its Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) in the context of the Paris Agreement of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), ratified by the government of Brazil in September 2016.
Thank you very much.
Read the press note issued by the Government of Brazil detailing their restoration commitments here.