On the last Thursday, November 10th, 2022, an event was held at the COP that saw the discussion of plans for environmental policies by Brazil’s newly re-elected president, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva.
By Federica Dossi
Translation: Fernanda Filiú, AJN Brazil
Lula’s election rekindled hope in terms of deforestation, and much was said of these promises and hopes in a meeting that featured representation of all worlds involved in Brazilian environmental issues. Representing the political world: Nilto Tatto, brazilian politician, affiliated to the Worker’s Party [Partido dos Trabalhadores] (of which Lula is a founding member) since the early 1980s. Representing the scientific world: Professor Carlos Nobre, Brazilian scientist and meteorologist, author of the IPCC reports. And representing the world of indigenous peoples: Celia Xakriabá, educator and indigenous activist.
In his victory speech, the president promised zero net deforestation, the protection of indigenous peoples and the review of emissions targets to align them with those of the Paris Agreement. These promises are achievable, Nobre pointed out that the 50% cut in emissions by 2030 can be achieved by Brazil, since 50% of the country’s emissions come from deforestation activities and 28% from agriculture.
If Brazil reaches 0% deforestation caused by the change in land use in the next 4 years, it will be one of the first countries in the world to achieve the Paris Agreement.
To make this a reality, says Tatto, the president will focus on combating illegal deforestation and extractive activities and agricultural regenerative methods. These are a major problem, since 90% of the deforestation that occurs in the Amazon is illegal. Tatto points out that these very high percentages were achieved under the corrupt government of Bolsonaro, that facilitated the actions of these criminals and violence against indigenous peoples with their policies to cut funds of the national environmental agency, repealing laws, approving thousands of pesticides and absolute complicity with large agricultural enterprises that have invaded protected land.
Finally, Xakriabá stressed that it is not possible to face the climate crisis without addressing the issue of the Amazon. It is not possible anymore to postpone that because “There’s no planet B”, repeats the activist. Bolsonaro’s agenda went against not only the basic principles of democracy and humanity, but against the cultural diversity too.
The violence against the indigenous people should stop, because says Xakriabá: “We are less than 5% of the global population, but we are protecting more than 80% of the planet biodiversity”.