Environment and sustainability
Many achievements celebrated in the World Environment Day
Lowest deforestation rates ever, more protected areas, sustainability in public procurement and promotion of the rights of indigenous peoples
DEFORESTATION IN THE AMAZON WAS REDUCED
The rate of Amazon deforestation between August 2010 and July 2011 was the lowest since the first measuring carried out by the National Institute for Space Research (Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas Espaciais - INPE) in 1988.
The 6418 km²-long area deforested in the period is 76.9% smaller than that recorded in 2004, when the Plan of Action to Prevent and Control Deforestation in the Amazon (Plano de Ação para Prevenção e Controle do Desmatamento na Amazônia Legal - PPCDAM) was established. Currently, 81.2% of the original Amazon forest remains preserved.
In 2011 Brazil had already reduced its emissions of greenhouse gases by 19.2%, as a result of decreased deforestation in the Amazon. It is more than half the voluntary target of 36.1% to be achieved by 2020. As for deforestation, the goal is to achieve an 80% reduction compared to the annual average recorded between 1996 and 2005. The decline in deforestation already accounts for 67% of this average.
MORE PROTECTED AREAS
Brazil has 75.1 million ha of federal Conservation Units divided into:
• 139 Integral Protection Units totaling 36.2 million ha.
• 173 Sustainable Use Units totaling 38.9 million ha. Two of these Integral Protection Units were established during the celebration of the World Environment Day on June 5:
• Bom Jesus Biological Reserve (state of Paraná): 34,200 ha of Atlantic Forest.
• Furna Feia National Park (state of Rio Grande do Norte): 8,500 ha of Caatinga. On the same occasion, three other Units were expanded:
• Descobrimento National Park (state of Bahia): 22,700 ha of Atlantic Forest (including 1,500 ha of expansion) as area of integral protection.
• Araripe-Apodi National Forest (state of Ceará): 39,300 ha of Caatinga (including 706.8 ha of expansion) as area of sustainable use.
• Goytacazes National Forest (state of Espírito Santo): 1,420 ha of Atlantic Forest (including 74 ha of expansion) as area of sustainable use. In 2012, 45,000 ha of protected areas were incorporated into the national territory.
INDIGENOUS PEOPLES AND COMMUNITIES
Creation of Indigenous Lands
An additional seven Indigenous Lands have been created, totaling 950,000 ha:
• Matintin (state of Amazonas): Tikuna people;
• Lago do Marinheiro (state of Amazonas): Mura people;
• Santa Cruz da Nova Aliança (state of Amazonas): Kokama people;
• Marmelos (state of Amazonas): Tenharim people;
• Porto Limoeiro (state of Amazonas): Tikuna people;
• Xipaya (state of Pará): Xipaya people;
• Riozinho do Alto Envira (state of Acre): Ashaninka people and isolated indigenous people.
Indigenous Lands cover an area of 109.77 million ha, corresponding to about 12.9% of the national territory and 22% of the Legal Amazon.
Indigenous lands are responsible for the preservation of 30% of Brazilian biodiversity
National Policy on Territorial and Environmental Management of Indigenous Lands (Política Nacional de Gestão Territorial e Ambiental de Terras Indígenas – PNGATI)
The PNGATI establishes principles and guidelines for the environmental and territorial management of Indigenous Lands and ensures the participation of indigenous peoples and communities in the processes aimed at the environmental management, conservation and recovery of biodiversity in their lands. The contribution of these peoples, combined with their traditional knowledge, is essential to protect the environment.
The policy was developed with broad participation of indigenous peoples and communities and will be a key instrument of coordination between government and civil society.
Indigenous Health and Food Security
The Plan of Action against Indigenous Mother- -Child Mortality, which aims to enhance indigenous health actions focused on primary care, was introduced last June in the state of Acre, where health care services were provided to 5,630 people as follows: 2,379 medical exams, 1,050 dental exams and 2,201 exams by nurses. Fourteen patients in serious conditions were transferred and 144 elective cases were referred.
In addition to professionals from the Ministry of Health, the Plan is supported by the Ministry of Defense, which provides the logistics required to get to the villages, and the Ministry of Social Development, which provides food staples.
The action will is being extended to four other Special Indigenous Health Districts (Distritos Sanitários Especiais Indígenas - DSEI) in July. The goal is to reach 16 DSEI by the end of 2012.
SUSTAINABLE GOVERNMENT PROCUREMENT
The inclusion of new rules in the Bidding Law will enable applying a sustainability criterion in the procurement of works and utilities. The criteria to be met include, for example, preference for materials, technologies and raw materials of local origin, increased generation of labor, preferably local, and lower impact on natural resources.
The adoption of sustainability criterion will have an important impact on the market, since government procurement represents 1.6% of GDP. In 2010, the Federal Government invested almost R$ 70 billion in the procurement of goods and services.
In line with the action, the government introduced the Sustainable Esplanade Project (Projeto Esplanada Sustentável), which includes actions to increase effectiveness in the use of public resources and integrate the socio-environmental variable into the workplace.
WHAT DO BRAZILIANS THINK ABOUT THE ENVIRONMENT AND SUSTAINABLE CONSUMPTION?
In April 2012 the Ministry of Environment, with support from the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), conducted a survey of environmental awareness in Brazil, continuing the series started in 1992.
The survey shows that environmental awareness has increased significantly among Brazilians. The percentage of respondents who could not mention an environmental problem in Brazil, in their city or in their neighborhood has also decreased – from 46% in 1992 to 10% in 2012.
Concepts such as “sustainable development”, “sustainable consumption” and “biodiversity” are already known to many Brazilians. The notion of “environment” is no longer synonym with fauna and flora alone, but also includes waste, sanitation and other urban concerns.
In practice, the consumption patterns of Brazilians are still harmful to the environment and their quality of life, but people are more willing to take proactive steps such as separating the trash - an increase from 68% in 2001 to 86% in 2012.