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tv   Discussion on Brazils Amazon Rainforest Climate Challenges  CSPAN  November 22, 2019 3:16pm-4:24pm EST

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>> thank you very much. please join me in thanking these experts. [ applause ] we're back at 3:45. please be back on time so we can get going for our last panel. on sunday, key testimony from this week's impeachment inquiry hearings. starting with gordon sondland, the u.s. ambassador to the european union. followed by fiona hill, the security council's former director for russia. and david holmes, affairs counselor in ukraine. that's 10:30 eastern on sunday on c-span. you can stream them on next, a discussion on fires
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burning in amazon's brazil rain forest. the council on foreign relations hosted this hour-long event. >> hello, everybody. we good to go? hi, my name is mark. until recently, i was the ceo of the nature conservancy. i'm delighted to berece nthere, the moderated of today's 's discussion. we have a greattdi scupanel. to my left is monica. she is a senior fellow at the peterson institute for international economics. to monica's left is daniel, director of programs at the climate and land use alliance. and then on the screen is my good friend peter, the co-founder and ceo of neoterro, a new ngo focused on a lot of the issues we'll be discussing
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today. petetedaniel, direct ser wer is founder and ceo of conservation international, where he is the chairman. our topic today is the global impact of the amazon rain forest. we've been reading about it in the news. of course, this raises so many issues. first of all, what's really happening? it's hard to tell on the basisl of the news how much ofl this due to illegal logging or industrial ag or bad government policy or climate change itself impacting theth forests.e also, question arises, what har happened?he until basisrecently, the amazor one of the great conservation successss stories. through a great effort, the brazilian government, local government, brazilian growers, brazilian ranchers, al internationall companies, international ngoos. s, one of the great success stories the conservation field used to boast about is bringing deforestation
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way down in the amazon. that changed. what happened? another thing that's important is what can the international community do? who really owns the amazon? obviously, most of it is within brazil, not all of it.way down its impact on the rest of the qu world, especially vis-a-vis ther climate challenge, is huge. where are we in terms of tippin points? we know asoint climate change progresses or worsens, it can accelerate bad outcomes. are we close to that today in the amazon? then there are a host of other issues. what about the other amazon ome. countries? what about the role of indigenous people and impacts on indigenous people? or biodiversity itself. we're going to try to touch on all those i get to ask questions for abous 30 minutes, then we'll open it o up to all of you, okay? peter, are you all set? try t can you hear us and everything?? >> i can hear you perfectly.all can you hear me?et? can >> yes. >> sound good. all right. let's start. i'm going to start by asking dan
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to just give us an assessment of where things stand.? again, i think it is hard to know by reading the paper. what's causing what right now?ni what is the role of fires, logging, big ag, big ranching, government whpolicy? where does deforestation stand? what's the outlook?k? are we nearar the scary tipping points? what's going on in your view, wt dan? >> thanks, mark. thanks for the opportunity to be here with all of you. i think we're all here because of these fires and deforestation that's been in the news in the amazon over the past several . n months, peaking in the summer and august.t. i thinkpinnin it is important tv these aer bit -- these fires a t into context. fires occur all the time within the region. part of land clearing. i think it is really important n though to know that in brazil in 2019, these fires were not clima induced byte climate change.
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they were not driven by drought. through the end of august this year, the 2019 dry season, which is over now, was about 50% wetter than what we'd seen in en the previous few years.e had yet, on average, we had about 50% more fires during the same period. so the fires were not driven by drought. drought season, the number of dry days were fewer than in the the the fires -- that's really the first thing i want you to take home from here. the second thing is that these were fires that were -- that occurred deliberately for the purpose of deforestation. for the purpose of land clearing. most of that -- and when i say r most, estimates are 90% of that -- is illegal. perhaps 30% of that is driven by speculators who are clearing public lands. this is a complex criminal enterprisee in brazil in
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particular with many variations that are all aimed ultimately at selling falsely legit maimated cleared land atland a a huge ma. another 30% occurred on privatey properties. mostly exceeding limits on greed deforestation that were agreed to in brazil in 2012 under a major revision of brazil'so resa forest code.s by that wasall agreed to by all oe major agro-business associations in brazil. another 20% was likely small farmer clearing mostly on poorly managed reform settlements.occ about 10% occurred in areas that have no designated ownership.irt like the first category, that'st really all about land speculation. you can find all this data. they're in two really excellent technical notes prepared by a group called epalm. the amazonialamazoni iaial inst
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research. year on year, deforestation increased in thebr brazilian amazon by 30% this year over last year, to nearly 10,000 the square kilometers. that's the official data. it's the highest in the past decade. it goes -- it is important to oh note thatat that doesn't actualc even cover the period we're talking about, which mostly emerged beginning in august because the deforestation year in brazil goes august 1 to july 31. august 1, 2018, to july 31, 2019. we've had several thousand square kilometers cleared sincel then between august, september, into october. i the third point i want to make o is that this mostly illegal atet deforestation and the fires associated with it both began and ended with the support of the executive branch of the
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brazilian government. which has prioritized -- this current government has prioritized the undoing of 15 years of governmental progress in deforestation control. the fires peaked in the second and third weeks of august following what were deliberately organized fire days in parts ofg the amazon, which were pretty much an open secret within thein responsible government agencies. what happened then is no one really counted on a huge amount of smoke reaching sao paulo and blackening the skies in the city of sao paulo for four days.bout following that, later that month, following what you've all read about, a lot of controversl in the international front frone president sent in the army and declared a 60-day moratorium oni fire in the region.eclared at which point, fires stopped being set. the fires diminished and
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ultimately the dry season endedm government support is responsible for both starting and ending this problem this p soro it'sbl not climate, delibe turned on and off by government action and inaction. mark asked a little bit for me to say something about this issue of tipping points that has come up in the news quiteegove . suffice to say, it is a very complex area around the science, but the consensus as more and nq more data are emerging is that close, very, very y particularly in the southern and eastern parts of the basin, to tipping points to the combination of land use change t and climate change will meet that forests won't grow back. we'll be seeing the conversion of large areas of in tact tropical forests to savannah eo likesy tropical ecosystems over the comingd years. so having set that depressing
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stage, mark, i'll turn it back to you. >> let me turn to monica. monica, given this challenge, what are the options the international community faces, and the brazilian government? how can this challenge be will addressed in your judgment? >> so starting with the international community, i thina there is onell area where not a lot has been done. not a lot is perhaps a fairly easy way of putting it.think it has to do with payments for t environmental services.infamo of course, you usknow, conservi the amazon, conserving the amazon in brazil and the other countries that the amazon spans is a service that is provided t the rest of the world.conser because asvi a term that has cot out, that some people use and i particularly like, we can go into the explanation of this term, is that the amazon is really a carbon bomb, in the sense that it retains a lot of carbon under the soil. is re
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the moment thatal you start deforesting, this carbon is released into the atmosphere in very, very large quantities. so the service that's being provided by keeping thee forest in tact is that of keeping all of that carbon underneath the ground. and there is an issue of how do you actually set up payment for thesehow kinds of environmentalh services, which would be very beneficial from the point of view of innocecentivizing government, in particular,gover governments that have now recently taken difference stances on deforestation and conservation of the amazon. it provides a powerful incentive for them to change the policies back to one of preserving and conserving. i think this is an an area areal the international community has to think more about and has to m do something about. there essence, we're talking inb about, you know, an entire biome
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that has this characteristic of maintaining carbon underneath the soil and thosese services, which are global in scale, are not beingng paid for. so that, i would say, is one area that the international community needs to be -- needs to think hard about.hings there are other things like the amazon fund, for example, which is chiefly, you know, an initiative that was spearheaded by norway and germany, but largely norway, in which did serve the purpose of, you know,s trying to do a few things in ngn conservation and deforestation t within theat amazon. we know that the size of the amazon fund is small. you know, in relative at the moment, there are issuesd with the amazon fund and the government of brazil. this is another area where some thought has to go into, you er know, sort of, what do we do soe with the amazon fund?t of wha do we make it larger?ke do we ask for more contributors from otherot parts of the globe?
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what can they effectively do?it how do we set up a good governance structure for the fund if it is to become larger, how do we do this in consonance with whatat the brazil beggover currently wants? that's anothere area that needs to be thought much more about ba and where a lot of reflection has to go into. as for the government of brazil specifically, there are lots of things that -- and dan referenced some of them -- that we know there was this huge period spanning from 2004 until about 2014 or just before 2014 -- deforestation in the amazon fell they fellca dramatically becaus of specific policies that were put in place. so we know what to do to reducea deforestation because we tried it in the past, and these politipolityuce policies worked. they involve a number of usthings,e we pasts monitoring, the
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very sophisticated, satellite imagery monitoring/law enforcement in coordination of the several environmental agencies in brazil, but also measures like, for example, and as an economist, i particularly like this measure, the central bank of brazil in 2008 instituted a resolution that essentially created -- because e in the amazon region, rural credit is -- actually, in abecs of brazil, but the amazon region specifically, rural credit is provided by banks.provid what the central bank did was ta institute a blacklist, let's say, of districts or municipalities within the amazon where deforestation rates were occurring at a much higher pace, and where there was evidence that, you know, farmers, local farmers, were notot meeting the environmental regulations and the environmental norms.
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this s rablacklist, so anybody was put on this blacklist was essentiallye was shut off from t markets. they were not receiving anyiden of access to credit.t. according to a lot of research done on this initiative alone, n that ybmeasure, just that measu, served to reduce deforestation by about 20% in different partsr of the amazon and in the itiati different partsve of the amazon where it was applied. so there are things like this wp that alreadypl worked.dy in essence, you have carrots and sticks and policies like this that have worked in the past. this central bank resolution i mentioned is still in effect. it could be used once again. it hasn't been revoked. it's just that the current government is not moving in that direction, is not using these tools it has available to it. in fact, one of the things it has done is dismantle, to some extent, the capacity of the monitoring and the law
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enforcement abilities of the environmental agencies. that's where we are. >> okay.ou car thank you, monica. let's turn to peter.sed peter, there are a lot of it's j additionalus issues for us to th consider. i know you've beenction, i focut them. is the other amazonian countries, the role of china, the role of indigenous communities in the ee amazon. how do all ofre ar thosee playet into this story line? >> pretty directly. i'd say that part of the drivera of rtdeforestation, of course, we've talked about it, is the demand for agricultural commodities, whether it is soy or whether it is beef.we so if you trace where the fires are being ---- are taking place and where -- what commodities are beingat grown and where tho commodities are going, you can see a direct correlation. so there is an increased in
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delivery to europe and an increase in delivery of soy, int particular, to china. beef to china, to russia, to el egypt. so there is a direct correlation between this increase and in actually thecr tariff war betwe the united states and china which has resulted in a decreas in the importing of soy and beef from the united states to those other countries. so, number one, there is a global economic connection. number two, it is really intriguing to me that the . numr amazon, which is 880 million or% hectares, 1/3 of that, or 30% of that, actually, is under the guardianship of recognized indigenous protective areas. the constitution of brazil is actually very clear as to the rights of indigenous as a little bit of an aside, the
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president has actually stated in speeches that the institute that he admires the most in the united states has been the u.s. calvary because of its effective ne ne ness. not only is it 30% of the amazn that's under indigenous guardianship legally, but the government has said those forested areas need to be accessed. we know we cannot do it legally, but we will look the other direction. so what is happening now is an assault on indigenous people's rights. what's interesting, of course, about the indigenous peoples, is they are very effective in area securing the help of these large, ecological territories that are their own. in fact, if you look at maps right now that looked at an pel overlay of fires with indigenoue territories, the indigenous ry f
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territories areec actually the most secure of the territories actually resisting in l indigenous people played a very important role in securing the help of the amazon. i should say, it is not just the amazon. about 35% of the entire actua terrestrial earth is under the guardianship of indigenous peoples. those are the territories on onm thise planet that contain abou 70% of the intact ecosystems.wim direct correlation with commodity price. direct correlation with th indigenous peoples. that's just the state of the world. so we've gotimpor some importan allies in indigenous peoples. we also need to be looking at those organizations that are directly involved in the financing and the trading of commodities, so that we can actually get at the heart of how do you solve some of these a
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problems. i wouldsec like to comment for second on something monica talked about, which is this concept of payment for ecosystea services. the enormous role that brazil plays in terms of carbonsequesth 5% of the co2 that's human caused is absorbed by the amazon rain forest. there is an outside role the amazon plays. when we look at solutions, we am need to look at what is in the self-interest of the hebrazilia, in termsms of nots allowing a tipping point so that that forest becomes savannah, whicha would bend devastating to the iy agricultural, the precipitation and agricultural productivity within brazil itself. so that's in the self-interest of brazilding. to keep that for standing. but the waters and the precipitation that emerges from
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the amazon doesn't just stay in brazil. >> right. >> it actually goes up through kind of atmospheric rivers to benefit the midwest and the re united states. rivwest u so there is a strong argument tn thatg this is a global good and this should be a common -- there should be a considered, thoughtful way to balance the benefits to brazil and the benefits to the rest of the world. so i wouldust sa just say that complex question, for sure. it's a a very political questio right now in terms of how you address the challenges in brazil. it's no lesssscha complicated t the challenges we're facing in the united states in terms of the political terms o world. so i wish there was an easy ld solution. there. i is not. >> thank you, panelists. really interesting.he itre reminds me of any time at the
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nature con sense servancconserv. we wish federal governments were doing more to address the climate challenges. for a variety of reasons they, in this cases, back away. ngos, i think, are doing everything they can. i think there are limits to how much an ngo can in then i thought about the private sector and said, boy, how can we get the private sector to do tue more? during the period of success in reducing deforestation, the private sector, international and brazilian companies, playedv a very big role inan helping brazil understand it was in, toh use peter's phrase, their enlightened self-interest to geo this right. what can we do? is that a lever available for us now? can the panelists imagine somehow global, cmulti-national, food companies, commodity traders, and their brazilian counterparts, can take stronger action, boycotts, these kinds oe things? you'd think that would get theit
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attention of the government fast. they care about the t economy ie general. they care about agro business. is there potential there? what do you guys think?well >> happy to kick off that part f of the ordiscussion, there is this, as pete and monica have mentioned, really clear evidence that this is -- there is self-interest if we're looking at the level of a national self-interest, public self-interest. this this period of decline in deforestation of the decade, oyt roughly, from 2004 to 2014, in c brazil, was accompanied by agriu actualsi increases in revenue af production from agriculture frm the very same places wherere is, deforestation was going down.inf that's because as occurred in the u.s. 150 years ago, you close the agricultural profront,
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innovation increases. intensification increases. it increases under those conditions. what that requires though inc i requires investment and it requires actors that are functioning within the bounds of the legal system that is imposed in a democratic society. what we have now in brazil is just this huge amount of illegal activity. >> right. >> it's not that the whole sector is acting illegally. far from it. there are many, many good actors in the sector. but like any other sector, there is ad in a percentage of crimin that's in the space.ha because of corruption and because of governance h challenges, that percentage of y corr criminality is not insignificant. it isot going that to continuen acting in thosey, ways that aree
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pursuit of self-interest rather than publicic interest as long competitively allowed to doowed so. in some cases, encouraged to ds so because of thehe challenges around corruption that are deeply ned in tengrained in the. that doesn't mean that there are no points of intervention. has a the international business at community has a huge role to playre in this space that shouls seem self-em naimminent. businesses signed a letter that wasas broadly supportive of deforestation control agenda, supporting progressive business in brazil that was attentive tos these a issues. it was an interesting sentence in that letter that said something to the effect of, you know, no multinational company can affordtional to have illegality in
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its supply chains, or the risk a of illegality in its supply chains. the fact is, in soft commodity or agricultural supply chains, in precious metal supply chains, they're full of illegality. they say they cannot have the risk of this, but they are -- they have this in their supply n chains consistently.. a and seem not quitend ready to rt it out. we have an experience from a very, very different sector that evolved over the past two decades. i'm sure you and the audience it all familiar with work done s. r around conflict minerals or blood diamonds.merce ch norms in commerce changed over h actually aor remarkably short period. so that the conditions of productions associated with precious gems now are considered to be embedded in the product
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themselves. it is both a norm as well as a matter -- a legal matter to not purchase conflict minerals. what we've got now are con tlfl commodities that are in the form of -- whether it's precious minerals like gold, of which ctd about 90% is infected with illegality, or soft commodities that are much higher volumes and lower value that have deforestation in addition to the rights violations of indigenous and other peoples ed s embedded them. that's the current business norm that we have, not only in brazil and other amazonian countries, d but throughout the global com marketplace around commodities that are coming out of places in the developing world wherema wel don'tac have adequate governanc >> panelpanelists, how can we gr norms to change? time isn't on our side when we think of the climate change.hen
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monica, peter? ahead, peter. i was going to comment on something dan said.. go ahead. >>ommentnt what we have rightwh is anpowerful exthe recordraord tool is social media. it shines a light on the companies that do the right thing versus the wrong thing. you don't want to be seen as a predator versus a partner. that's the power of the consumer. itrsus a p p power affects the of value of employees and companies when they are -- when their companies are criticized. it is an enormously important tool. that tool needs to be deployed. it needs to be focused on who if financing and who is d and i think that if that were t, happen, you will see a -- that's how transformation takes place. that's what happened with the mining industry.
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it was a clear demand by the public that this was behavior that could not be top tol raler. the private sector plays an enormously important role. if you look at the discussions between the minister of agriculture and the president in brazil, the minister of agriculture is extraordinarily sensitive to who is going to buy the products that we if european market says we will not buy soy or beef that comes from recently deforested territories, that will affect the behavior of the government of terri china, which is a very importanf purchaser, if they were to do the same thing, that'd push it right over the i don't expect that to happen, g especially in regard to china. because china has a policy of, quote, not interfering with the international countries. but there are tools that can be deploy
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deployed, and they have to be deployed. the consumer has to be a part of this. the consumer voice will he sou influence -- in mean, american consumers will affect american political actions, as well. i would just say that there's an important role to play. in the united states, the private sector in particular isi very, very sensitive to the sounds that resonate in the talt public and in theo media. >> okay..o in a i'm going to ask one more nt wa question, then i'll turn it ove to all of you.o happ monica, youen mentioned paymente foren ecosystems, which i think everybody understands.s. the amazonon plays this enormoup important rolerovi globally in regulatingg so how do you make this happen?c my understanding is brazil besty recently rejected aid from the . g-7, which you could view as an offer of free ecosystem service system. >> i think there are two issues here. on the one hand, when it comes to aid and what was offered by the european union, there is
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this question of sovereignty o that's always very ill resolvedy right? we were speaking about this as we were having lunch. you know, the way that countries and other government sort of talk to governments like the of government of brazil is very important. you can't just go in and accuse. you have to engage in a differ different enway.are otherwise, you're directly infringing on this issue of infi sovereignty. then you're actuallyis issu pla into potentially, you know, a government's nationalist leanings, which is inevident my goi inevitably going to happen. that engagement needsinevi to change. it can't just be about, youf fn know, an accusatory dynamic because that doesn't work.qui we've seen in the interactions between the brazilian president and president macron of france, how they can go overboard very, very quickly. iiss think there is an issue he
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that has to be better dealt with. in the question of payments for environmental services specifically, of course, you know, something like the serv e services that the amazon provides, which we're all speaking of, these are serviceso that are --f thatco economistsi would callch public goods. you know, their benefits accrue to the public at large. they're not privately accrued.pi pricing public goods is one of o the things that, youds i know, economics profession has grappled with over years. we have managed to find ways of pricing public goods.yea this is exactly another one of those instances where we needd o figure out what is the best wayn to price this p one public good which is the carbon within the amazon. it is complicated. it's complicated. it is even more complicated by the fact that you need actual
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coordination between the private sector and the government and the government of different ffee parts of the world. yes. it gets much more complicated because of that because you do need that coordination, and the world today is not really a world where you see much coordination at all. in fact, it is going sort of the opposite direction. it is complicated by all of those factors, but it is something we do know how to do. we do know how to price public goods. so it should be something that is doable. it should be something that is feasible. let me say one final thing thatu kind of touches on what dan was ice pu saying before. with, you know, ble. l as you were asking the question about the privateet tha sectorts what role theec private sector c play, there is one crucial issue in the amazon, in the brazilian amazon but in the amazon as a whole, which is to deal with land rights and who owns what piece of land.itutio to a large degree, with the exception of, you know, what thi brazilian constitution covers, m
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and the issues thatet peter was raising, there are areas in the amazon where land tenure is just not clear. it's not clure wear who owns ito when it is kind of clear whone owns kind of clear who owns it, it is not all that clear. so that is something that the it brazilian government specifically has struggled with for a very long g time, hasn't been able to resolve.di theng bolsonaro administrationp sayse this is one issue they wa. toto address but they haven't sd exactly how. addressing this issue involves one other thing, which is something that dan said. dealing with the distorted incentives, which currently exist because of this complication in land tenure and land rights, which lead to deforested land being worth more than land that actually has standing forests on it. that is a recipe for speculation. and of the type of land
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speculation that we've seen. again, it is an economic design type of thing.oseons. you can design policies to correct those distortions. you kind of have to do this all, you know, within one strategy, and you do have to have cooperation between the private sector and the government. >> can i just add one >> can i just add one thing? >> yes. >> the president of columbia called a meeting in the little town of letitia which is just adjacent to the brazilian amazon, but it is in the columbian amazon. and he invited all of the heads of state of the amazonian nations to attend this. all of them participated. it was after the recognition that there was an extraordinary increase in fires. the only president who did not arrive was president bolsonaro. but president bolsonaro was
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having an operation. he called into the meeting. and out of that gathering came something called letitia pact, which has now been activated, not with solutions, but activated in terms of a conversation amongst the heads of state and the ministers of environment, in terms of how do they collaborate, in terms of dressing the invasion, the burning, the fire, and the damage, within the amazon itself. and so they have actually, president duque has actually put together a small task force, a small group of people, to actually come up with recommendations, as to pathways forward. and there are a few things that emerge, as kind of essential ingredients for solving these challenges. one is realtime and accurate data, where are fires, and how do you deploy in realtime
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brigades to put out fire. another was put together a significant fund for investing in reforestation, because reforestation not only increases the carbon absorption but also creates livelihoods and jobs. a third was really recognizing and securing the rights of indigenous peoples. a fourth was generating the revenue so that the protected areas that exist can really be secure. and the fifth, really having an engagement with the commodities and the agricultural industry, to look at what are the incentives for their behavior to shift into one of enthusiastic compliance, instead of can we actually get around this in one way or another. so these conversations, you know, are ongoing. what is interesting is brazil has not yet committed to being a formal part of this. and there is a series amount of
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pressure being placed on brazil just acknowledging that if you do not, this could very well affect a flow of foreign assistance. it could affect private sector engagement. as you asked earlier, mark, in brazilian commodity markets. so it's in realtime, being played out right now, and you know, we'll see what the results are, but i just want to mention that duque has really spearheaded this in a very thoughtful way. >> thanks, peter. okay, let's hope it up to the audience. yes, we have mics, don't we? so here comes the mic. if you can just say who you are. >> my name is edwin litback, i own a ranch over the last 20 years in the bernie, in front of rodania, i guess in the heart of the amazon. part of it is natural forest. and nobody touches. because $300 per hectare to cut
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down the forest, you can buy savannah for cow force $150. this is the burning, right in front of mondonia. so some years ago somebody offered me 250 square miles of intact gallery forest, so i contacted lots of npo time doin them to came out. one man came with an airplane flown by a guy who is very well for flying around the amazon. sometimes carrying interesting substances. so analysts show that with the thoughtful knowledgeable person, they overflew my ranch, they found all five kinds of monkeys, other than the golden marmoset present in great numbers. and a semi-extinct so-called
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amazonian wolf which is a fox on stilts and then they found the largest, they have seen, the largest alligators they've ever seen. it's the same one that is in florida, but ours grow very big. so at the end of it, i said i am willing to buy the land, give it to you, and you simply look after it. what happened is that mr. foreigno, and cristiano flew up, nothing ever happened. every other ngo i contacted, i can't spend my time contacting ngos, none of them were willing to do it. and by the way, my neighbors, my neighbor just died, and his sons want to sell their land, it cost approximately 30 dollars an acre, 35 dollars an acre, depends how you bargain, and you are getting intact land. when the forest has never been cut, which is full of wildlife. but my experience so far is that there are thousands of ngos around the world that have conference, meetings, and such, and nobody is actually willing
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to come and spend $35 to buy an acre, that is actually $150 a hectare. and you can buy and do what i did. now, i funded with cows in the savannah, which was always savannah, it was never deforested. and by the way, the smoke, i don't know what happened in brazil, but the smoke we are getting is a gift from rodonia because it is right on the border has not increased in severity as far as we know. so this is just subjective. so i don't know what has happened elsewhere. final point, the point of factual thing, whoever burns the drippy rain forest, i don't know how they do it. they must cover it in fuel. the forest that they're cutting in brazil is sawuaro, it is kind of a wood, that kind of stuff, that really does dry out. but the actual rain forest, you cannot burn it. >> do you have a question or are you just -- yes, my question is, none of the discussion so far
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reflects the fact that we have a population of thousands of ngos, all around the world, who have amazona in their name, and none of them do the simplest thing, which is to buy a ticket, fly to santa cruz, buy three hectares, and pay somebody like let's say $10 a week to look after it. >> peter, i'll turn it over to you, but who knows in that particular case why ngos didn't step up and buy. but i challenge the idea that that is the solution at scale here for nonprofit ngos funded by donors to raise the capital to buy the amazon. but peter, since the gentleman mentioned your great organization, conservation international, the floor is yours. >> thank you. >> hold on. we're hearing from peter now. thank you. >> okay. so i'd like this email, and i'd
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like to see if his offer still stand, number one. number two, the very first, so the danny is in bolivia, and the very first initiative of conservation international in 1987 was to do something as vir tuesday as a debt for nature swap, where c.i. acquired bolivian land and traded it with bolivia for the preserve, in the area, the benny province. so it is an area of extraordinary ecological importance. and so i'm interested in learning more about that particular opportunity. number one. number two, mark, i think that you're absolutely right. to get to the scale of solution that's going to be required is not going to be the acquisition of individuals' properties. because you just can't get to it. you just won't be able to get to the scale when you're looking at
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a territory of the amazon which is about, you know, 880 million hectares. but i also want to say, i really appreciate the interest on behalf of the speaker that raised the question, because that approach to, that willingness to engage, in a constructive solution, is really important, and that's why it is important to continue that conversation. >> okay. well said, peter. thank you. i agree with you. other questions? yes, sir? >> my name is jorn bagman, i'm from the norwegian embassy, when we speak about paying for ecosystems i need to mention that paying brazil about, norway has paid brazil about $1 billion for very high deforestation and money has been coming to the amazon fund, and now come to the question, monica, you mentioned amazon fund and how do you think
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we can scale up that? you say it's too small. >> so i am deeply grateful, i and i think a lot of others are deeply grateful to norway for the effort with the amazon fund, and for you know, being the main funder, actually, the amazon fund is almost entirely norway. i think the, it is, when it was set up, it was one of the first redd-plus initiatives by the u.n. in the context of the u.n., and i think it has, and it still has a lot of potential. it would of course involve bringing other countries in, given that, you know, norway has already done a lot of its share, and you know, it just, it's a question of what we want to do with this fund. do we want to make it into something much larger, where you can actually have an impact. and even perhaps address the
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issues that the gentleman to your right has raised, you know, what do we want to do with it? what's the strategy. and i think that question involves it a very large extent what the government of brazil is thinking of doing. at the moment, they don't seem very inclined to make the amazon fund one of the main sort of mechanisms or vehicles through which or by which you can resolve the conservation aspect and the deforestation aspect. in fact, they seem to be moving in the opposite direction. they've recently talking about changing the governance structure of the fund. they recently talked about doing several things to the fund that norway rightly disagrees with. and so does germany. so at the moment, there is a divergence of views in terms of those who actually fund the amazon fund and provide it with the resources, in the way that the brazilian government is going about it, and so i think
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we need to find some common ground. because the amazon fund really is important. and we don't need something else to replace it. we already have it. we have it in the form of the amazon fund. >> go ahead, dan. >> maybe i'll just add to that. i think the norwegian government's provided really extraordinary leadership. one of the most remarkable things about it is that it has persisted from one government to the next in norway, which is just a completely foreign concept for those of us who are from this country. but it was always viewed, and i engaged in working with colleagues involved in running that fund for a long time. it was always been viewed as a pilot, as an experiment, not as the thing that was done to solve the world problems. and one of the challenges that comes up recurrently, of course, when we look at the kind of scaling that monica is talking
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about, which i think we all recognize as needed, is so who is going to pay for this? where is the money going to come from? it's not all going to come from the generous government that a small scandinavian country that has five million people in it, and one of, and there is interest in this kind of, where emerging from the private sector, where we really need to be able to use public finance to leverage private sector investment in the space. one of the, and it creates challenges, it creates challenges for the environmental community, for the project sector itself, for thinking about where does this problem come from? and how are we going to solve it? one of the more interesting experiments going on now is from a space that's often considered to be the enemies of the environmental movement, the oil
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and gas industry. there are a number of energy sector companies that see the opportunity to actually be funding this kind of work in the forest sector, as a means of addressing the fact that they're selling gasoline to all of us, right? all of us are part of this climate problem. they are selling gasoline to all of us. that gasoline is contributing to the climate change problem. an example of this is shell oil now, in the netherlands, has been experimenting with allowing people to pay an extra euro cent per liter of gasoline, which when you do the math, adds up to pretty much the same amount that the norwegian government is paying, has been paying into the amazon fund, which is $5 a ton. they have expanded the program now to encompass a large number
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of people who are buying gas frequently from shell in the u.k. they are using that money to buy credit from the highest quality projects that are contributing, that are helping to reduce emissions from forests, in southeast asia, and in peru, two examples. they've got tens of millions of dollars, hundreds of millions of dollars, they're planning to invest in this space, and it is not only them, there are others, as well. the modalities, the structures for this kind of an emergent market, that could be very large scale, around these kinds of payments, are just starting to get formed. and it's largely in the space of experimentation now, but i would surmise from just what we've been seeing over the past decade, two decades, is that it is not going to happen based on
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foreign aid. this is not a problem that foreign aid is going to solve. it's a problem that we're all part of, because we're all consumers. and via the companies that service our needs, we're going to need to be part of the solution. it's not going to be governments alone that address it. >> thanks. thanks very much. yes, ma'am. we have a mic up here? >> katherine marshal from georgetown university. one actor you haven't mentioned in this is the pope, and broader inter-religious, with the rain forest, inter-faith rain forest initiative, the amazon synod, just earlier this month. i have two questions. one is, first of all, the sort of moral voice and what more could be done on that and
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second, whether you see practical steps, that what is after all an enormous trans-national force that might be mobilized to do something about, something that they have actually addressed as a priority issue. >> okay, great questions. any panelists? peter, you want to talk about the pope? >> sure. i have strong admiration for the pope, and for the standing, and his push and his commitment. so i don't know yet whether the extraordinary inspiration that he provides people is going to actually be converted into transformations in the way governments are going to behave, or if it is going to result in a change in the behavior of agricultural commodities and exploiters of forests. i did know that the synod has
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inspired indigenous peoples and it is inspiring environmental activist, and it is inspiring young people to become engaged. and i think that the most hopeful part of this moment, and perhaps the most hopeful part of the climate week that took place in new york a couple of months ago, was the raising of the voice of young people, and their inspiration and their impatience. and the raising of the voice of in dump nous peoples, and their -- indigenous peoples and their patience, and i think when you get these forces coming together and you add to that the power and the voice of the pope and the synod, it feels to me that there is actually a tipping point going in the right direction, despite all of the bad news which has been going in the wrong direction. so it is hard to quantify. but i feel globally that there is a change in the winds, and a change in the directions. we are going to have to use that
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power and that voice, as well as we can, and that means how we vote, and how we consume. and if we can activate those two forces, then we have a chance of actually changing the way capitalism and the market forces play. >> thanks, peter. you know, i would just add, the nature conservancy, my former organization had, a very ambitious plan. this will seem small though in the grand issues, but we had a plan to bring green infrastructure to washington, d.c. to deal with the storm water runoff challenge. and to do that, we needed a real estate owner, a big real estate owner to be our partner. and we struggled with the real estate community and then the catholic diocese stepped up, was a superb partner, that program is alive and well, and when i had to go to the ceremony to thank the bishop and cardinal, i guess cardinal, overseeing this, he attributed to the pope's encyclical, and he said when the pope speak, we respond, so we need, i think we really need more leadership like that, obviously.
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dan, go ahead. >> i want to endorse everything peter just said. and i want to add something else. because i think it is really important to keep in mind the sort of macro trends that are happening. so we're talking primarily about brazilian, or other amazon countries as well. brazil is on the cusp of becoming a majority evangelical country and it is a particular kind of evan gellism that is predominant, neo-pentecostal, evangelical christianity, which does not have the same value as associated with laudate si, and the pope's emphasis on the natural world, and the relationship between people, and nature, and in fact, is a particular approach that looks at the end times as a good thing, that we might want to cultivate arriving at the end
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times, and so understanding these dynamics, and the religious space, is extremely difficult. there are trends pulling in very different directions. and this demographic shift, and certainly, this, the current government in brazil, has that evangelical base as a core part of its political support. so we have a complex set of issues with respect to religion. >> yes,ma'am. go ahead. >> thank you. cassia vol with the brazilian business council. just a piece of information and then i have a question. so the brazilian government has reached out to us to initiate a dialogue that we kicked off in brazil just last week, on sustain ability and resource efficiency, but the brazilian government is putting at the table the amazon issue and
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asking us to help, to bring with this dialogue with the private sector, and this has been very positive. monica, to your point, is how do you engage with the brazilian government that is extremely important, and issues of investments and sustainable investment, is part of this dialogue that we have with the brazilian government. but my question is the following. what is the real narrative here, because i keep getting confusing information. you mentioned that deforestation was on the decline, over the years. when i continuously see graphs such as this one on the handout that says the forest tation has been rising for the past 15 years. so what is the real story? was the forestation really on the decline? or is it really rising? >> monica, i know your recent paper was super clear about this. >> yes, my recent paper is very
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clear about this. so for those who are interested, i have a paper published at peterson institute for international economics, it has amazon and carbon bond in it, so googling it is fairly easily. i have the data on there from the bafflian national space institute, and if you look at the historical data that bnsi collects, it starts in 1988, and there was a clear pattern and there was an increase in forest tation in 2004 and that trend, from 2004 we reached the critical point and from that point onwards the governments that followed were all looking at the issue of deforestation and putting in place policies to reduce it. so then between 2004 and 2014, what you see is this very dramatic reduction in deforestation of over 80%, starting from the base point of
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2004. and what's happened since, when you look at then from 2014 on wards what has happened to deforestation, the rates of deforestation began to rise again in 2015, so 2015 and 2016 were two years where deforestation picked up, especially in brazil. remember that those two years, brazil was in recession. so a lot of the budget cuts to the environmental agencies that were responsible for monitoring and law enforcement, and that of course had an effect on deforestation. by 2017, 2018, the situation in brazil specifically, the economic situation was still not solid. so you still saw a relative uptick in deforestation. and then in 2019, it really takes off. so it is just a matter of looking at the data. >> there you have it. and i am afraid we have time for one more question. yes, sir. >> steve brock, center for climate security.
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i would also like to commend norway for the tremendous role that you played in a really creative way facilitating the columbian peace profit for your commitment for the rain forest and the amazon and columbia, and my question is, how are the vast track of rain forest that are now open to economic development, since the komen peace process, the first peace treaty that had sustain ability and really development at its core, how is that going since the park has laid down their arms and opening up and other things. and. >> who wants to talk about that? >> peter? >> i don't know the data. >> i have a couple of comments on it. the first is i wanted to just comment on norway, just quickly. norway has done an extraordinary thing in providing the funding for liberia, guy ana, brazil,
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other countries, indonesia, to really take on deforestation. and that is really important, that has really been transformative. we're now seeing some real resistant especially in brazil so i would like to encourage norway to think about another approach which is to begin to explore the possibility of relationships with sub-national actors. >> yes. >> like different states in brazil, as opposed to just dealing at a national level. >> yes. >> so you can engage amazonas, pera, some of the other states that are very important for rain forest health. but and are ready and have governors that are willing and able to engage. so i know there are complications but there should be a way to be able to do that. i would also like to suggest that one way to increase the number of resources available, since this is such a powerful and potent issue today, the help
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of forest, rain forests, for climate and for bio diversity, is for the government of norway to actually make these funds available on a crowdsourcing, to channel crowdsourcing to match it, so we can actually double the money. i would like to be able to, i think we can begin to think kraetively, how do we leverage the funds from norway. that was kind of my, that's one thing. i know it has nothing to do with columbia. columbia has really been intriguing because although the peace treaty has resulted in laying down of arms, it has also resulted in a lot of people coming back to their territories, to their homelands and to their home areas of columbia, and looking for work. and so one of the results of searching for work has been searching for the opportunity, and one of those opportunities has actually been logging and deforestation. so that columbia is kind of caught in the twist in between. there has been, there has been a great impact on peace, there's
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been a great interest in the creation of larger protected areas, by president santos and now by president duque so we're seeing a real interest in the number of protected areas, but at the same time, what we're seeing is an increase in deforestation. so one of the things that is happening in columbia, led by the government of columbia, and by the military of columbia, is trying to provide employment opportunities to those people that have laid down their weapons, for reforesting, and there is an area of punta maya which is in the western side of columbia, where there is a major reforestation effort that is actually being financed by the idb, ci is involved in it, other organizations are involved with it, to create employment opportunities for those people who laid down their wednesday and are now looking for good employment. >> okay, the council insists we stop on time so we have to bring
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this lively conversation to an end. lots to talk about. please join me in thanking our panelists forrer that gre panelists their great input. [ applause ] . saturday at 8:00 eastern on american history tv, gettysburg college professor timothy shannon on colonial era diplomacy. >> they had to get together and conduct diplomacy with native american peoples and the protocols and customs and language and metaphors that
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