Young Brazilians tell their stories and interview the former Minister of the Environment Marina Silva. “The environment is not the agenda of the right or the left, it is the agenda of humanity!”
By Amanda da Cruz Costa | YPA Brazil
Beyond your vegan bacon with broccoli, What have you been up to guys?
I want to invite you to embark on a wonderful adventure with me, the educommunicative journalistic coverage of COP26: the famous United Nations Conference that brings together governments, civil society and companies in order to think about strategies to curb the climate crisis and promote sustainable development.
But before getting into all this technical stuff, I’d like to introduce myself:
My name is Amanda Costa, I am an internationalist, climate activist and founder of Perifa Sustentável. I work as a UN youth ambassador, Brazil’s youth delegate to the G20 Youth Summit, deputy curator of the Global Shapers (World Economic Forum youth community) and in early 2021 I entered the #Under30 list of Forbes Magazine.
However, these are just titles… I am also the daughter of Anselmo and Gisleide, sister of Thais, granddaughter of Grandma Jandira and the fun niece who loves a mess in the family. I was born and raised in Jardim Almanara, a peripheral neighborhood in the north of São Paulo. I studied at Colégio Adventista de Vila Nova Cachoeirinha and had a youth marked by sports: I was federated athlete of Portuguesa Tiguer Luso, played volleyball at school and beat my card at the club ACM North.
Maybe you might be wondering:
What does all this have to do with the climate?
My dear climate beauty: talking about climate is talking about LIFE! It’s about telling stories, sharing trajectories and connecting with people. When we humanize the agenda, we bring truth, depth and authenticity to what we believe and stand for.
And before the conference, I had the opportunity to experience each of the feelings listed above!
The Perifa Sustentável Delegation, composed by Vitória Pinheiro, Ellen Monielle, Mahryan Sampaio and myself, had an exclusive meeting with the former environment minister and global reference in climate crisis Marina Silva, with the objective of thinking about intergenerational strategies for increase the impact of our participation and advocacy at COP26.
Climate policy is a transversal policy.Marina Silva, historian, teacher, psychopedagogist, environmentalist and Brazilian politician
When we talk about climate policies, we are strategically thinking about the possibility for young people to dream! My activism for the climate is not limited to me, but embraces future generations from the various peripheries of Brazil who want to build an inclusive, collaborative and sustainable Brazil for all, in which no one will be left behind.
For this to stop being a utopia and become a reality, it is necessary to think of a new development model, that is, a model that reduces social inequalities, promotes an inclusive economy and is environmentally responsible.
Our nation is not a place of problems, but a place of solutions!
If we invest in Nature-based Solutions, Decarbonization, preservation of biomes, clean energy, protection of traditional peoples, prohibition of mining in indigenous lands, development of compensatory targets and the Economy of Nature, we will once again become a reference in the international scenario.
This is the time to turn good ideas into public policy!
However, we see a completely different reality: desertification, loss of biodiversity, dismantling of public policies, deforestation in the Amazon and the Cerrado, burning in conservation units, persecution of universities, cuts in health and education funds, ecocide, genocide and, consequently, a global crisis that widens the inequalities and vulnerabilities of disadvantaged populations.
Humanity is heading towards its own extinction!Marina Silva
But, that’s not the end! The Paris Agreement signed in 2015 by 196 countries emerged as a breath of hope from this apocalyptic scenario. However, despite all diplomatic engineering, we are facng an implementation deficit.
There is a political, ethical and moral negligence with the socio-environmental agendas and if we want to have a possibility for the future, we need to keep the forests standing and fight for sustainable development in the slums, suburbs and suburban communities.
Did you know that 70% of South America’s GDP depends on rain from the Amazon?Carlos Nobre, Brazilian scientist studying global warming, 2021
The environmental context is complex, but we cannot give up! If we commit to an agenda, if we are persistent,if we show political commitment and sign a true pact with society, we can transform the world and guarantee a future for next generations.
I have learned from football that discipline, confidence, strategy and believing that it is possible to flip the outcome of a game in the very last minute of the second half is necessary! Just as I have created a true connection with my club partners, I want to find partners who will fight with me to stop the climate crisis and promote sustainable development.
Are you willing to embark on this adventure with me?
The environment is not a right or left agenda, but a human agenda!Marina Silva