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Climate Action 2010-2011

Redd, Sustainable Forest

Redd, Sustainable Forest Management and Agriculture the specific country/region and by the timely delivery of information on the dynamics of deforestation and forestry activity to all stakeholders. It is crucial, for example, to acknowledge that the perception of the value of forests in tropical countries varies according to the importance of the forestry sector in local economies. The drivers of deforestation are a reflection of the greater economic gain presented by competing economic activities, namely agriculture and cattle ranching, over conservation. Summing up, a successful REDD+ strategy should not only encompass improvement of monitoring and enforcement, but also policies to enhance capacity in the sustainable use of forests and to increase the value of forest production and protection when compared to alternative uses of the land. In this regard, an effective and sustainable REDD+ can only be ensured if forests are considered in their multiple dimensions. REDD+ is about reducing carbon emissions and mitigation of climate change, but can also be a tool to trigger investments in forests. REDD+ can deliver the dual benefit of raising funds for emissions reduction and promoting conservation and the sustainable use of forests while simultaneously addressing governance, co-benefits and sustainability issues. Redd+ development in the Brazilian Amazon The legally-defined Brazilian Amazon encompasses an area of over 5 million km 2 – a land mass larger than that of the 27 countries of the European Union combined – and corresponds to some 60 per cent of Brazil’s total territory. The entire Amazon basin, from its source in the Peruvian Andes until its estuary in the Atlantic, totals 6.9 million km 2 . It also shelters strategic natural resources, such as the world’s largest freshwater reserve, a number of valuable ores, such as diamond, gold, and nickel, and the world’s richest region in terms of biodiversity. It also has a unique role in the carbon cycle and rain distribution in the two hemispheres. Safeguarding this vast megadiverse region on which the health of the planet depends is a mammoth task, not only for Brazil, but for all Amazonian countries. The challenge to balance environmental conservation with economic development needs grows even more complex when we consider that the Brazilian side alone is populated by over 25 million people with legitimate demands for jobs, income, health, education, sanitation and transport. Their needs do not always receive the same international attention as the region’s vast ecological reserves. A good deal of this Amazonian population is a result of government-induced migration from the 1960s to 1980s. The motto in Brazil at the time was “to give land to the landless” and immigrants from the south-central and northeastern regions arrived looking to establish the same type of agriculture as they had in their homelands. In order to prove land tenure, they were encouraged to cut the forest and clear the areas through ‘slash and burn’, which often resulted in uncontrollable forest fires. The average deforestation rate in the Brazilian Amazon up to 2004 was around 2 million hectares per year. In 2004, after hitting a deforestation peak of 2.7 million hectares, a taskforce involving 11 ministries was commissioned by the Brazilian President which | 132 | Figure 1: History of deforestation in the Amazon (sq km). established a Plan to Prevent and Control Deforestation in the Amazon (also known as PPCDAM). The plan began implementing its 144 actions in 2005. Since then, deforestation has been decreasing rapidly: 1.8 million ha in 2005; 1.4 million ha in 2006; 1.2 million ha in 2007 and 2008; and 0.7 million ha in 2009. For 2010, the figure is predicted to be even lower. The Amazon Fund The first three years of PPCDAM implementation brought CO 2 emissions savings of over 1 billion tonnes. These results were the inspiration for the creation of the Amazon Fund in 2008. The Amazon Fund pools donations made to protect the rainforest. It funds non-refundable prevention actions including forest monitoring, the promotion of conservation and the sustainable use of the Amazon biome. The Fund has a technical board and a guidance board which together guarantee information integrity on emissions data and align the Fund’s priorities with the interests of the multiple stakeholders involved in the fight against deforestation. The Amazon Fund began operations in April 2009, after the first contribution was made by Norway. From April to December 2009, five projects were approved. The expectation for 2010 is that the Fund might approve another 20 projects. The confirmation of future contributions from Norway for 2010 and 2011 has enabled the Fund to assess more ambitious projects. The Amazon Fund is recognised as the world’s first largescale financial instrument for REDD+, as it receives funds based on estimates of reducing emissions from deforestation already obtained in Brazil. In its national CO 2 emissions targets, Brazil has included a target of reducing emissions from deforestation in the Amazon by 80 per cent by 2020, from the average annual deforestation rate between 1996-2005. Beyond the Amazon: tackling deforestation across Brazil In the past few years, policies to fight deforestation in the Amazon have brought tangible results. However, deforestation in the Cerrado biome is still a concern. In order to fight it, an Action Plan to Prevent and Control Deforestation in the Cerrado was established in 2009, following the lines of PPCDAM. The Plan’s goals include; reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions www.climateactionprogramme.org

Redd, Sustainable Forest Management and Agriculture from deforestation in the Cerrado by 40 per cent by 2020, in comparison with historical data. By the end of 2010, the ecologically important Caatinga, Pampa and Pantanal biomes will also have their deforested areas monitored and Plans for these biomes are on the horizon. We are committed to the establishment of a national REDD+ legal framework that sets forth rules to preserve climate systems and biodiversity, that values standing forests and respects and includes local populations. The discussion process on the REDD+ national strategy involves several relevant stakeholders and includes topics like financing, social and environmental safeguards, responsibility, internal benefit sharing and monitoring and communication systems. The national REDD+ regime must be valid for all biomes and establish reference levels of forest cover and national forest emission rates per biome. Brazil, drawing on its experience with current monitoring systems in the Amazon, must build other robust systems for the other biomes. As part of its work to develop a robust monitoring, reporting and verification system (MRV), Brazil is also investing in tools to estimate forest biomass and terrestrial carbon, primarily through the national forest inventory. Brazil’s national climate change strategy Alongside the ongoing fight against deforestation, other important steps have been taken in the last few years in Brazil’s policies to fight climate change, including the Climate National Plan, Climate Fund and the National Policy on Climate Change. The National Policy on Climate Change, passed at National Congress in December 2009, defines emission reduction goals for Brazil – between 36.1 and 38.9 per cent based on projected emissions levels for 2020 – and develops Sectorial Plans for emissions reduction and adaptation, among other aspects. The policy is currently at the regulation stage. The Climate Fund was created in late 2009. It provides Brazil with an effective instrument to tackle climate change in every dimension, including mitigation and adaptation actions within a strategic low-carbon development conception. Resources for the Fund come from a profitsharing initiative within the productive oil chain. The Climate Fund will go towards supporting several mitigation and adaptation activities, including the fight against desertification, environmental education and capacity-building projects, REDD+ projects, technology development and dissemination, public policies formulation, sustainable productive chain support, environmental services payments and others. For 2011, some R$200 million (US$117 million) of refundable resources and some R$26 million (US$15.2 million) of non-refundable grants have been approved. Regulation of the Climate Fund is being prepared and the management board must be established before the end of 2010. At the international level, we defend an efficient climate change regime that creates objective conditions to ensure global warming does not exceed 2ºC above preindustrial times, but one that is also fair and equitable, protecting vulnerable populations from the consequences of climate change. This regime needs to create conditions for sustainable development that does not replicate the richest countries’ unsustainable production and consumption standards. A greener future for Brazil In recognising the historical responsibility of developed countries, Brazil is not advocating a less active role for itself. We understand we are part of the solution, and along these lines, President Lula presented our voluntary commitments to reduce emissions between 36.1 and 38.9 per cent in relation to projections made for 2020 in Copenhagen last year. Brazil has very specific characteristics that should guide policies to tackle climate change. The countries emissions come from deforestation and unsustainable land use, but the fight against climate change is not restricted to fighting deforestation emissions. In the energy sector, the great challenge is to maintain the energy matrix with a high percentage of renewable energies, currently at around 46 per cent. In order to achieve that, we must invest in renewable sources and energy efficiency, the two key objectives of the National Policy on Climate Change. In the agricultural and steel sectors several projects are underway, looking for opportunities to fight climate change while promoting good practice and contributing to sustainable development. Actions include substitution of charcoal sourced in deforested areas for charcoal from managed forests, direct recovery of pastures, integration between agriculture and animal husbandry, zero tillage and biological fixation of nitrogen. These actions directly and indirectly work to reduce deforestation. Brazil’s development in this century is highly dependant on its strategic view in relation to renewable sources, ecological alternatives, and its urban, rural and forest development standards. A low-carbon economy will consolidate our recent achievements and increase our potential for further green development. Izabella Teixeira is Minister of Environment for Brazil. Prior to taking office in April 2010, she was Executive Secretary for the former environment minister, Carlos Minc. She has served as Director of the national government’s environmental enforcement agency, the Brazilian Institute of Environment and Renewable Natural Resources (IBAMA). She has a master’s in Energy Planning, a PhD in Environmental Planning and is internationally recognised as an expert on strategic environmental assessment. Ministry of Environment Esplanada dos Ministérios Bloco B - 70068-900 Brasil Website: www.mma.gov.br www.climateactionprogramme.org | 133 |