By Adriana Ramos
The conclusion of the 2018 electoral process was one of the most conflicting ever experienced by the country. Although it has ended an important stage of definition about the near future of the country, it did not indicate (precisely) the next steps that Brazil will take in several areas. Climate agenda is among them.
Faced with the uncertainties of the current multi-dimensional crisis – political, economic and security – post-election Brazil is in doubt with respect to what will be its contribution to the global climate crisis. After decades of action in the leadership of the process of international governance over one of the most influential subjects in the economy and foreign relations of recent times, our country will have a government that at one point announced leaving the Paris Agreement and even the UN, although it subsequently backed down on these declarations.
Climate change is no longer a distant threat and its effects require immediate action. The global effort against the effects of climate change is one of those historic challenges that provokes the international system of cooperation in several ways. To date, for example, Brazil has established itself as one of the maintainers of the multilateral efforts regarding climate change and this must continue.
The declarations of the winning candidate at the polls not only challenge the climate agenda in the country, but also the territorial rights of the indigenous people, quilombolas and traditional communities. The role that these traditional territories have played in the maintenance of carbon stocks and in the conservation of lifestyles is well-known by the public. They act as an immense repository of practices and knowledge, which are fundamental as support to the adaptation strategies that we will be obliged to adopt. This has already been recognized by the IPCC (the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) through its Work Group II (which deals with the dimensions of the impacts, of the adaptation and of the vulnerability to climate change), since the preparation of its fourth report. The Brazilian efforts to reduce deforestation included the advance in the recognition of these territories as one of its lines of action and the United Nations Convention on Climate Change has also highlighted the role of these people in overcoming the global crisis. The paralyzation of the demarcation of the indigenous lands and their possible opening up for activities such as mining and agriculture are measures that could directly affect the efforts to reduce deforestation, important sources of greenhouse gas emissions in Brazil.
To reinforce the importance of these territories and to support the indigenous people and traditional communities in this fight is a task for everyone who has the mission of confronting climate change.
Faced with the uncertainties of the current situation, it is up to Brazilian society to reaffirm its expectations of consistent policies in order to overcome the climate crisis and the maintenance of the important role that the country has been fulfilling internationally in this agenda. Finally, we need to pursue developing actions in order to strengthen this trajectory!
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Adriana Ramos is coordinator of the Program of Socio-Environmental Policy and Law of Instituto Socioambiental (ISA)