Sustainability challenges in the EU and Latin America go through the Amazon
We should rejoice at the official announcement confirming long-held aspirations to have Belém (Pará State capital city) host COP-30 in 2025, particularly because it is the first time that the largest and most significant international climate forum will be held in the Amazon. Hosting such a landmark event, that will establish new objectives, practices and policies for the sector, is of great importance for the region.
The world is debating the future of the Amazon and the threats it faces. It is a global issue among scholars, researchers, technicians and politicians. In this sense, is there anything more symbolic than discussing Amazonia in Amazonia?
Covering an area of 6.7 million square kilometers, Amazonia spans eight countries in addition to Brazil: Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador, Colombia, Venezuela, Suriname, Guyana and French Guiana. Yet Brazil accounts for 60 % of Amazonian lands and waters. In Brazil, the Amazonian region constitutes nearly 59 % of the national territory and is home to roughly 38 million people scattered over 808 municipalities in nine states: Acre, Amapá, Amazonas, Mato Grosso, Maranhão, Pará, Rondônia, Roraima and Tocantins.
Given the monumental scope of the region, it is natural for the Amazonian countries to engage in regular interactions through forums or established bodies to seek defense and development mechanisms. Frequent interaction is crucial for generating positive results.
To effectively integrate the Amazon rainforest into the national development process, overcoming deeply rooted thoughts and positions is crucial. It should not solely be associated with being untouchable, that fails to generate income or benefits for both its inhabitants and the global community.
The Amazon rainforest will continue to offer opportunities for research and discovery provided it is protected and preserved in its entirety. This requires development
The Amazon rainforest will continue to offer opportunities for research and discovery provided it is protected and preserved in its entirety. This requires development. The region still holds numerous undiscovered plant species, and how of them could lead to new pharmaceuticals, new cosmetics, new colors for weaving, among other innovations. This would introduce new products to the market, creating additional commercial opportunities that, in turn, could benefit those who live in the majestic rainforest and, by extension, society as a whole.
Moreover, it is widely recognized that poverty perpetuates, stratifies and expands when opportunities to engage in cutting-edge knowledge are missed. Sustainable development is paramount and should be at the top of the agenda of the European Union and Latin America.
It is no coincidence that the bioeconomy, the sale of carbon credits, of great importance to European economies, becomes significant. They are recent and, in a sense, revolutionary commodities
It is no coincidence that the bioeconomy, the sale of carbon credits, of great importance to European economies, becomes significant. They are recent and, in a sense, revolutionary commodities. It is a considerable support for forest conservation, ensuring its fullness and vigor, and stimulates business growth. International consulting firms estimate that carbon market transactions in 2021 will surpass $2 billion, fourfold compared to the previous year. Optimistic projections from the global consulting firm McKinsey suggest that transactions in this sector will reach $50 billion by 2030.
However, numerous obstacles still stand in the way of modernization efforts, ranging from a failure to establish effective and transparent legislation to the implementation of a legal framework. The most perilous and menacing challenges are illegal deforestation and mining. The State’s sole recourse against them consists of constantly fighting with a firm hand, rigor and intelligence, in accordance with legal frameworks.
Armed and violent criminal gangs are part of powerful and influential cartels, with influence in various spheres of national life, including the National Congress. They disregard laws and do not respect the integrity of indigenous reserves or centennial trees. They have no limits.
Fortunately, the current government has not only reversed the previous policy but is acting firmly and fearlessly against these illicit activities. It is cracking down on illegal deforestation and mining, curbing tractors and chainsaws, halting mining equipment and ending encroachment on indigenous lands.
Indigenous peoples play a critical role in Amazonia. Indigenous peoples are indispensable to every society. Countries where they were extinguished regret it to this day and, time and again, continue to seek forgiveness for having carried out this inhumane and unjustifiable policy of ethnic cleansing, with contempt for knowledge, wisdom and ancient cultures. This is a crime, there is no other word to define it, and forgiveness is no longer a solution.
Society must come to realize that Brazil and Latin America need growth that encompasses modern and innovative industries, qualified agronomy, qualified herds, well-equipped cities, adequate infrastructure and many other aspects. Furthermore, it is crucial to acknowledge that the rainforest should not be exploited for short-term gains and left devastated. The original inhabitants are not lesser beings who have nothing to teach so-called civilized societies. This idea should be (and surely will be) part of the dialogue between the European Union and Latin America.
Brazil will not relinquish a forest of such grandeur. The Amazon rainforest will remain alive, exuberant, in the future. We firmly rely on the support of the international community
A nation the size of Brazil will not relinquish a forest of such grandeur. The Amazon rainforest will remain alive, exuberant, in the future. We firmly rely on the support of the international community.
Humanity has endured dark, painful times, including when the very roundness of the Earth was denied. However, that era is mostly behind us. Now we are experiencing a renaissance of knowledge and understanding and the reaffirmation that, yes, the Earth is round.
Both Brazilians and the international community will view COP-30 as a pivotal moment for the region and for the world. Those who claim to care about Amazonia will come to discuss the future of the Amazon rainforest. They will experience the fascinating complexity of Amazonia firsthand.
The Amazon rainforest is often referred to as the lungs of the world. I prefer to put it another way: We, here, breath Amazonia.