Brazil Discusses the Rough Way to Sustainable Development

    “When conflicts don’t arise, it’s because the government’s policy had no effect. For this reason, one must be distrustful when everybody agrees with the discourse of sustainable development,” observed Mário Cardoso, deputy technical secretary of the Natural Resources Policy Subprogram (SPRN).

    The SPRN is part of the Pilot Program for the Protection of Tropical Forests in Brazil (PPG7).

    “Sustainable development is, indeed, possible, but not by satisfying all interests in the same space. There is a generalized tendency on the part of governments to promise everything to everybody, all the more so because there are election campaigns in Brazil every two years,” added Hanz Krueger, representative of the multilateral agency, German Technical Cooperation (GTZ).

    The two of them are participating in the National Seminar to Evaluate the PPG7, which began yesterday, June 21, and ends on Friday, June 24.

    The Pilot Program, an offspring of the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (Rio-92), represents a multilateral cooperation initiative to test and develop innovative strategies for the protection and sustainable use of Brazil’s tropical forests.

    Since its inception, it has invested US$ 400 million on projects in the Amazon and the Atlantic Rain Forest.

    The funds come from Germany, the European Union, the United Kingdom, the United States, the Netherlands, Japan, France, and Canada and are channeled through a Tropical Forests Fiduciary Fund administered by the World Bank.

    The Secretariat of Amazon Coordination (SCA) of the Ministry of the Environment is responsible for the executive coordination of the program.

    Mauro Rufino, regional coordinator of the Lowland (“Várzea”) Natural Resource Management Project (ProVárzea), which is also part of the PPG7, remarked that, to have an impact on government policies, one should not focus exclusively on the final product, that is, the law.

    “The quality of the process of shared formulation is essential for the policy to be viable. It has to be discussed with all the interested sectors, including those that represent groups with which one does not have political or ideological affinity. It is a tough path, but one that is necessary for a policy not just to remain on the books,” he argued.

    The representative of the Secretariat of Environment of the State of Acre, Magaly Medeiros, also analyzed the conflicting development models in the Amazon.

    “It is necessary for the government and international investors to be clear in their political option. It does no good to have in-depth studies of the economic feasibility and supply chain of açaí­ and Brazil nuts, if you continue to invest in cattle.”

    ABr –

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