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Carbon Market

Governors defend compensation for preserving the Amazon

At COP 27, five of the nine governors of the Brazilian Amazon defend the standing forest as an economic asset to be turned to the benefit of the population

Daniel Nardin

From Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt


Five of the nine governors that make up the Interstate Consortium for the Legal Amazon are already participating in the programs of the 27th United Nations Climate Change Conference, COP 27. On Monday morning (14), the governors of Pará, Helder Barbalho; Acre, Gladson Cameli; Tocantins, Wanderlei Barbosa; Mato Grosso, Mauro Mendes and Marcos Rocha, from Rondônia, participated in the panel "Climate finance: the role of international cooperation for low emission development in the Amazon" and then held a brief press conference.

The governor of Pará, Helder Barbalho, was designated to represent the current president of the Consortium, governor Waldez Goes, who will not attend to the event. In his first speech at the conference, Helder highlighted the need for greater speed and progress so that there is, effectively, greater regulation so that the states and owners of preserved areas can receive compensation for environmental services, through the carbon market.

"I have been to the last UN conferences on climate and the discussions show that the world's environmental challenge, faced with climate change, is increasing. What was discussed in Madrid (COP 25) is no longer what is being discussed here, in Egypt, at COP 27. It is already being said that zero emissions are no longer enough, that we now need to compensate more, in addition to zero emissions. But we are not managing to advance with the same energy to speed up the regulation of the carbon market, so that the standing and living forest can be more valued and monetized, so that it is, in fact, a commodity with a price and that those who have it, like the Amazon, can receive for it", he highlighted.

Bio-economy plan - Helder said that, during the COP, Pará will present the state bio-economy plan, the REDD+ system, and move forward on the legal and juridical issue so that the work done in carbon sequestration can be valued. "We have areas that have already been anthropized, altered by man, and that we need to change to a more intensive use system, to increase production in these spaces without advancing in the forest. And, where we have standing forest, we must work steadfastly to preserve it and ensure due compensation for this", he said.

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Respect - For the governor of Mato Grosso, Mauro Mendes, the positioning of the Amazon states will be to demand more respect and not look at the Amazon people as a villain. "There is a climate change process that is happening. Low carbon is the watchword and talking about the Amazon is very easy, but this issue needs to be taken more seriously. More than the money from other countries, what we want is respect. Today Mato Grosso preserves more than 60% of its territory and is the largest food producer in the country. We want great resources, not crumbs. We do have to help save the planet, but the world has to understand that we also produce food and can save the world from a hunger pandemic, caused by lack of food," he said.

The same tone was adopted by Governor Marcos Rocha, from Rondônia. "We are here to reaffirm our commitment to the environment, all goals will be met. But, also, to make it clear that we cannot forget the people who live in the Amazon and need to work to survive, with alternative ways of production. Yes, we are looking for partnerships, but here we represent the entire population", he pointed out.

Talk less, act more - For the governor of Acre, Gladson Cameli, the expectation with COP 27 is that it will indeed be the "COP of implementation", as it has been called. "It's past time to talk less and act more. And it's time to understand that the concern and the discourse about the environment is not of the left and agribusiness is something of the right. This has to stop, because we are all together and we have to unite at once to guarantee preservation, but also to produce where there is room for it", he affirmed.

The governor of Tocantins, Wanderlei Barbosa, reminded that the carbon market issue is still a distant reality that needs to be put into practice. "We know that it is still something distant from our reality, but it is in moments like this that we can approach to make something close and real. We have to position ourselves and make it clear that we have to be compensated for the green we have and for holding back the pressure to advance in new areas for production, since many countries have already destroyed what they had. The logic is simple, because we need to have compensation for preserving an area that could be used for production, but that is there protected and untouched, but that has to be paid for, to have alternatives for generating jobs and income for the population that needs to have a dignified life," he said.