Roberto S. Waack, CEO of the Renova Foundation, discusses trends of the low-carbon economy in the article “Low carbon dioxide emission in land use: interdependence is the name of the game”. Since March 24, we have published sections of this important discussion, and today’s text addresses the Brazilian advantages in land use and production of commodities. Continue reading.
BRAZILIAN COMPARATIVE ADVANTAGES IN LAND USE AND THE PRODUCTION OF COMMODITIES
Brazil is a forest nation. More than 50% of its territory is covered by natural forests in the Amazon, the Cerrado and the Atlantic Forest. It is one of the most biodiverse countries and one of the largest water equity holders of the planet. It has an ample territory, reasonably fertile soil, good distribution of rainfall and sunlight. In short, it has a large natural capital. In addition, it has developed forestry technologies that have led it to stand out in the field of planted forests for producing fibers and, more recently, bioenergy.
The country has followed an efficient path in developing one of the most thriving agribusinesses in the world, leading rankings of grain production, bioenergy and animal protein. It has a great intellectual capital in the agroforestry sector. Because of its complex history of territorial occupation and conversion of native forests in areas geared to producing commodities, the country has advanced much in handling and controlling deforestation, with the latest technologies in aerospace monitoring of its territory. Therefore, it has two strong competitive components: the natural capital itself and the intellectual capital to handle it.
Another important feature in the Brazilian environmental field is a strong presence of civil society. With striking actions, it has reached important victories in conservation and the recognition of original communities and earlier land ownerships. It is a strong social capital. Far from settling with its wins, it keeps going, still ready to fight and not conforming with the unacceptable reality of how we handle our natural capital.
Land use and its economic use have been discussed considerably. In recent decades, civil society has had strong confrontations with agribusiness. As a result, the Forest Code was established, one of the most advanced regulations aimed to organize the use of natural resources of the planet. This legislation, among other things, defines the role of permanent conservation areas, productive forests and alternative use. Elements such as georeferencing allow a new form of land management implementation. Thus, the social capital is strengthened through institutional capital. A strong sense of interdependence has been created, along with the perception that open dialogue can bring new elements.