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The Amazon role to the GDP

Architect and construction entrepreneur. President of the Federation of Industries of the State of Rondônia, he also presides over the Ação Pró-Amazônia, an association that brings together the nine federations of industries in the states of the Legal Amazon. CEO of Instituto Amazônia+21, aimed at promoting sustainable business in the Amazon.

Marcelo Thomé

Translation by Silvia Benchimol, Ewerton Branco e Lucas Araújo de Oliveira


Liberal Amazon confers me this great space to debate the Amazon. I always try to do this with a hopeful look at our capacity of building a Brazilian sustainable development project. Election period is pretty close, therefore I feel I need to position myself, as a columnist, dealing with regional inequalities.

Unless Brazil turns this key, we will continue with our feet chained to the 19th century agenda, with the basic sanitation deficit being the most glaring of our neglected problems. In this context, the advances towards the 21st century will be restricted to the most consolidated development poles in the South and Southeast regions, thus, aggravating regional inequalities. 

Our political and economic forces must keep in mind that Legal Amazon represents 59% of the Brazilian territory. More than half of our map needs to be included in the Brazilian economy scenery, not only aiming at the development of the region, but also enabling Brazil to have a sustainable development project. Focusing beyond our continental borders, regarding challenges and opportunities for globalization, requires the conviction that Brazilian GDP needs both to include the Amazon in the economy, and to encourage the protagonism of the region. These actions can ensure the sustainability of a green economy, expanded in structured production chains and distributed throughout the country, according to regional vocations.

The development of the country will not be sustained solely within  the Southern and Southeast limits. There is an urgent need to awaken to the potential of other regions. Priority in the public budget, tax incentives and differentiated tax policies to promote investments in the North and Northeast regions cannot remain as paternalism or any other prejudicial judgment. In fact, currently, such incentives do not even exist, at least not in the necessary proportion, form and continuity. Incentives should not be faced as  concessions from the Federal government, but the payment for a historical debt inscribed in the social accounting of the Constitution of 1988.

Fighting regional inequalities is also reducing the social drama that humiliates citizenship in the Northeast and North regions. More than 28 million Brazilians live in the Legal Amazon. The vast majority of them live in scarce conditions since the beginning of the 20th century. The more we penetrate the interior of the Amazon, the worse it gets. Municipal Human Development Index (MHDI) of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) attests that 33 cities in the region are amongst the 50 worst in the country in social development.

Without a policy of economic integration of the Amazon, Brazil will not be able to achieve the goals that the Brazilian Government committed at COP 26, in Glasgow, that are: decreasing to zero the emissions of greenhouse gases by 2050, with the reduction of 50% by 2030; reducing methane emissions by 30% until 2030; and to extinguish illegal deforestation by 2028.

Soon there will be elections and all the presidential candidates demonstrate good intentions regarding the conservation of the Amazon biome and initiatives for a low carbon economy, but we must demand more from our future politicians and parliamentarians. The first goal is to make the Amazon a protagonist of a national project of sustainable development. Otherwise, Brazil will fade on the Southern beaches, embracing the regional inequalities.