For experts, the activity provides several benefits to the sustainable development of the country

Forest restoration was the central theme of the fourth panel co-organized by the Institute for Climate and Society at the Brazilian Forum for Climate Finance, held in São Paulo, on February 27. Moderated by Ana Yang, the president of the iCS Board and an executive director at Chatham House, the panel “Forest Restoration: solution based on nature and climate for low carbon development” highlighted the importance of the activity for the country.

The debate was a partnership between iCS and the Bezos Earth Fund, Banco do Brasil, WRI-Brasil, Amazônia 2030 and the Climate Policy Initiative. At the opening, the director of the Programmatic Department of iCS, Thais Ferraz, stated that the climate issue needs to be seen as a topic for development. For her, despite the challenges and unique characteristics of forest restoration, in Brazil there are solutions that can be based on nature. “Forest restoration presents itself as an activity that promotes carbon sequestration, job creation and additional revenue. It is a complete alternative,” she commented.

Director of Forests, Land Use and Agriculture at WRI Brazil, Mirella Sandrini praised the Brazilian progress in restoration plans up to COP30, in Belém, and highlighted the importance of showing how every real invested or granted has an economic return in society. “I am excited with so many initiatives and it is a promising agenda. We have several plans for the climate that involve sectors of adaptation and mitigation up to COP30, in 2025,” she said.

Ana Yang argued that the restoration economy must be connected to the bioeconomy of the country. The panel featured the following speakers; Leon Clarke, director of Decarbonization Pathways at the Bezos Earth Fund; Juliano Assunção, executive director of the CPI and coordinator of Amazônia 2030; Valmir Ortega, partner at Belterra Agroflorestas; and Denísio Liberato, CEO of BB Asset Management.

Leon Clarke presented his philanthropic forest restoration project valued at US$ 1 billion, highlighting the work carried out in Africa and now in Brazil. However, he highlighted that many of these initiatives are still not yet on the market.

“Our philanthropy has three challenges that we consider essential to achieve scale: the first is the fact that the restoration is not yet part of the market. How can we internalize these costs? One of the ways is to promote understanding about carbon credits. There are already companies in Brazil that are entering into this business, but restoration projects take place on a small scale, because there are few specialized companies and it is difficult to obtain financing,” he said.

“Secondly, philanthropy plays a crucial role in the implementation and monitoring of these projects. Financing needs to be performed through commercial investments and not just through grants. By this, we are talking about risk reduction, the ability to access private capital, and much more. And, finally, it is necessary to work on the market value for the restoration of the native species,” concluded the director of Decarbonization Pathways at the Bezos Earth Fund.

Juliano Assunção criticized forest deforestation, which emits more than a billion tons of carbon per year. According to him, the process of occupation by agriculture and livestock production in the territory was mistaken because it is not very productive and was not capable of establishing the well-being of the region. With the economy lagging behind, the Amazon Region is still capable of reversing this scenario.

“The deforestation that led to agriculture and livestock production did not generate income and employment on a large scale. The forest itself has the potential for natural restoration without public policies, but we must connect with the climate agenda and generate resources that help in this process,” highlighted Assunção.

Valmir Ortega, in turn, highlighted that Brazil needs to develop a low carbon economy in order to achieve the objective of restoring 12 million hectares of forest by COP30. For him, it is necessary to implement other activities that can generate income for the owners of unproductive land. “Part of the deforestation is related to the expansion of economic activity, such as agriculture and livestock production. We need activities that generate a financial return and that are linked to ecological restoration, such as the carbon market, which goes beyond land expansion,” he stated.

The CEO of BB Asset Management presented solutions to some of the problems faced in the fight for forest restoration. He reported that Banco do Brasil has formed a partnership with the independent manager JGP. Together, they are developing financial solutions based on sustainable development.

“The manager provides sustainable projects and solutions for both small and large investors to be able to decarbonize their portfolios. We want a manager that is an investment hub and creates new possibilities,” concluded Liberato.

The Brazilian Forum for Climate Finance was jointly organized by the Arapyaú Institute, the AYA Institute, Institute for Climate and Society (iCS), the Igarapé Institute, the Itaúsa Institute, the Open Society Foundations and Uma Concertação pela Amazônia.

 

Credit: Fotoka/Divulgação

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