Challenges for tackling deforestation in Brazil: From a scorched earth policy to where? By Adriana Ramos
Adriana Ramos is a senior figure in Brazil’s Instituto Socioambiental (Socioenvironmental Institute - ISA), with strong ties to both civil society activism and government policy aimed at halting Amazonian deforestation.
Lula's victory in the 2022 Brazilian election was accompanied by a solid commitment to tackle climate change, including the goal of zero deforestation by 2030. A new Plan to Halt Deforestation is expected, comprising all Brazilian biomes beyond the Amazon alone. Action to confront illegal operations has already begun, for example in the expulsion of miners from Yanomami Indigenous Land. Yet this urgent work follows a total reversal in policies controlling deforestation during Bolsonaro’s four years in government (2019-2022). From 2004 to 2012, the Action Plan for the Prevention and Control of Deforestation in the Legal Amazon (PPCDAm) achieved the largest reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by a single country, yet the period since saw the entire control structure underpinning this achievement demobilized, and with government stimulating this demobilization, deforestation dynamics significantly altered. This makes the fight against deforestation today an even more significant challenge than in the early 2000s. The presentation contributes to understanding this historical process and the paths that can and should be traced through new policy initiatives.
Adriana Ramos is a journalist by training and a socioenvironmental activist in Brazilian civil society organizations since the early nineties, specialized in environmental policies and politics. She coordinated the Socioenvironmental Policy and Law Program of leading environmental NGO the Instituto Socioambiental (ISA), centred around the monitoring of and advocacy for socioenvironmental policies. Serving on the Executive Board of the Brazilian Association of NGOs (ABONG) she coordinated the working group on forests, and represented civil society on the National Council for the Environment (CONAMA) and on the Guiding Committee of the Amazon Fund (COFA). Currently, she is part of the Coordination of the Climate Observatory and a member of the ‘Uma Concertação pela Amazônia’ network. For a biographical interview (in Portuguese), see: conexaoplaneta.com. For a recently authored piece in English, see: conexaoplaneta.com