The activists in defense of the Amazon rainforest these days have urged the delegates of the Cop26 not to trust the promises of the Brazilian government of Jair Bolsonaro and, in the meantime, over one hundred world leaders (including present and absent at COP26) signed a pledge to end deforestation by 2030, with 12 billion dollars. Plus the 7 billion pledged by private companies. Also because it is written forests, it reads carbon sinks and CO2 absorption, with all that that entails in terms of compensation for companies and states. Some of the funds will go to developing countries for restore the land damaged, address the plague of forest fires and support indigenous communities (1.7 billion, ed). But among the signatories of the ‘Glasgow Declaration on Forests and Land’, which cover about the85% of the world’s forests, the Chinese president Xi Jinping, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and even Jair Bolsonaro, on whom a complaint of genocide is pending before the International Criminal Court in The Hague (ICC), presented by the representatives of Brazilian indigenous peoples and associations in defense of human rights. And it is the third that arrives at the ICT and at the center of which there is always the exploitation of resources in Amazonia. And then it is not surprising that the declaration, at least, divides. So, if Fran Price, forest manager of the WWF International defines the commitment “Remarkable”, while explaining “that it must now be adopted urgently, together with the political actions necessary to address the factors that cause deforestation”, much more critical Carolina Pasquali, executive director of Greenpeace Brazil. The problems are different: from the timing to the concrete tools put in place to achieve the goal. Which, from the first shared agreement put on Cop’s plate so far, risks becoming the symbol of ‘bla bla bla’ politico.
GREENPEACE: “BOLSONARO A SUO AGIO” – “There is a very good reason why Bolsonaro he felt comfortable signing this new agreement. Allows another decade of destruction of the forests (which cover 60% of Brazil, ed) e it is not binding“. Meanwhile, the Amazon is already on the brink “and cannot survive other years of deforestation. Indigenous peoples demand that the80% of the Amazon is protected by 2025 and they are right, that’s what it takes “. The new agreement, recalls Greenpeace, replaces the Declaration of New York on the forests of the 2014 (then unsigned by Brazil), which included governments pledging to halve forest loss by 2020 and support companies to end deforestation in supply chains by 2020. Yet the rate of natural forest loss has increased dramatically in recent years. Given the track record, the organization believes there is little chance that Bolsonaro will stick to this voluntary agreement. All the more so because “it is currently trying to pass a legislative package that would accelerate the loss of forests”. Bolsonaro had already promised to stop illegal deforestation by 2030, and then cut funds to environmental protection agencies.
HOW LONG DOES THE AMAZON HAVE – The question of time is basic. And there are various studies (which come to different conclusions) on how much time the Amazon has available before collapsing. In 2019, Bolsonaro fired the director of theNational Institute for Space Research, which is responsible for satellite monitoring in the Amazon, calling the deforestation rates recorded and reported by the institute “lies”. According to research published in early 2021 in the journal Environment: Science and Policy for Sustainable Development and conducted by Professor Robert Toovey Walker of the University of Florida, if you do not change course by 2064 the Amazon, where already today in some areas more CO2 is emitted than is captured) will become an open savannah, dominated by herbs and shrubs. It is clear that in this context, another nine years become fundamental. And not just for the Amazon.
NEW FUNDS FOR WOODLAND AREAS – New funds have been announced for countries with significant wooded areas, including Brazil and basin of the Congo to which they will go 1.5 billion dollars to protect the second largest tropical rainforest in the world. Here, where Total grows acacia trees to create a 40,000-hectare forest on the Batéké highlands and absorb ten million tons of CO2 in 20 years, while increasing the production of fossil fuels by 15% by 2030. Second Anna Jones, Greenpeace forest manager in UK “The advance payments are a small fraction of what is needed to protect nature globally and, in any case, the funds committed by governments under the Global Forest Finance Pledge they appear to come from their aid budgets, so it’s unclear whether this is actually new liquidity. Nor are there any guarantees – he adds – that donations from the private sector are not simply used as compensation for the direct reduction of emissions ”. A moratorium on new logging concessions was lifted by the Condo Democratic Republic government in July, and activists fear that the offer of new funds is not conditional on reintroducing the ban. There is talk of an area of tropical forest the size of France.
TRADE AND TRANSPARENCY – Governments of 28 countries they have also been involved in the global trade in food and other agricultural products such as palm oil, soy and cocoa, whose plantations cause deforestation. But no action is indicated, he explains Carolina Pasquali “to reduce the demand for industrial meat and dairy products, an industry that is causing the destruction of the ecosystem through the production of livestock and the use of soy to feed animals ”. And Europe is also to blame. But this happens almost everywhere and due to the production of different products. So the deal will have to deal with the shortcomings of global trade. Already today, several powers are trying to adopt legislation that prevents the trade within their borders of products arriving from devastated areas, from fires or deforestation. But it’s not that simple and often the products are difficult to track, as a survey by theEnvironmental Investigation Agency (EIA), which found that the United States imported significant quantities of Russian timber from protected areas (about 80% of the timber produced in eastern Russia is illegally produced) through a company based in China.