Climate protection and biodiversity in Brazil – IKI networking workshop

Discussions at the IKI workshop in Brazil; Photo: Janine Moraes/GIZ

Discussions at the IKI workshop in Brazil; Photo: Janine Moraes/GIZ

On 12 November, almost 100 representatives from 25 IKI projects, Brazilian partner ministries and organisations, the German Embassy and BMU met for the third annual networking workshop in Brasilia. The focus of this year’s event was on cross-level cooperation between national, federal and local stakeholders. In addition to the important exchange of experiences and the identification of successes and obstacles to implementation, conciliatory tones between Germany and Brazil were also on the agenda, and both sides reaffirmed their willingness to continue their cooperation in climate protection and biodiversity. The solid cooperation of the two countries had recently faltered somewhat due to their different views on forest policies.

Representatives of the Brazilian Government, BMU and the German Embasssy at the IKI workshop

IKI interface projects support the exchange of experiences and information in most of the partner countries of the International Climate Initiative. In Brazil, this function has been carried out by the Climate Policy (PoMuC) programme since the end of 2016. The programme helps to network a total of 38 bilateral, regional and global projects, which are implemented by 19 different implementing organisations together with a total of seven Brazilian ministries. PoMuC particularly highlighted mutual learning thanks to this year’s interactive workshop format. A variety of synergies and new partnerships have emerged between projects working in the same region or on similar topics. Project managers and municipal representatives exchanged new ideas and functional concepts, especially regarding biodiversity, sustainable urban development and waste management. In the case of some projects, questions that had earlier been asked of ministry staff were also answered successfully, in spite of being lost or misplaced due to the government reshuffle at the beginning of 2019.

Considering climate information and risks when planning infrastructure investments is the focus of the "CSI" project; Photo: Janine Moraes/GIZ

As the ninth largest economy in the world and a major emitter of CO2, Brazil is not only a key player for climate action, but also an important partner of Germany and especially of IKI – since its first year. Brazil’s proactive role in multilateral work for sustainable development has always been highly appreciated. Since the adoption of Agenda 21 and the Rio de Janeiro Declaration in 1992, the Brazilian government has been working towards an international consensus on sustainable development concepts. This process culminated in the adoption of Agenda 2030 and its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), with Germany and Brazil playing a strong role together.

In its nationally determined climate protection contributions (NDCs) submitted in 2015, the country plans to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 37 percent by 2025 and by 43 percent by 2030 (compared with 2005 figures). In addition to the NDCs, the reduction measures are also anchored in sector plans (e.g. for the forest, energy, agriculture and transport sectors). Adaptation to the consequences of climate change is a second pillar of the Brazilian NDCs. Changing precipitation patterns and temperature extremes are creating perfect conditions for forest and savannah fires, droughts, regional floods and landslides in Brazil. The resulting threat to the population and infrastructure continues to pose major challenges for the country.

Climate change is also affecting biodiversity and agricultural production – and the rising sea levels are having destructive effects on coastal infrastructures. This is why Brazil adopted an adaptation plan in 2016, aimed at providing support for the reduction of the country’s vulnerability to the impacts of climate change.

Brazil, the largest Latin American country, is home to 20 percent of the world’s biodiversity. These species are protected over an area of around 1.6 million square kilometres, which is around 4.4 times the size of Germany, or 18 percent of Brazil’s continental area. There are also protected marine zones, which are approximately 2.5 times greater in area than the Baltic Sea. Infrastructures and sensitive ecosystems such as coral reefs benefit greatly from this protection. With these protected area designations, Brazil has already achieved the Aichi target for the establishment of marine-protected zones by 2020, which was set nationally within the context of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD).

The project INTERACT-Bio supports biodiversity conservation in urban areas; Photo: Janine Moraes/GI

Various Brazilian states and municipalities at the sub-national level also address impact reduction and adaptation measures in planning processes, for example, adopting their own climate laws and plans. For the future, the Brazilian partner ministries participating in the interface workshop positioned the topics of marine waste, coastal protection and sustainable urban development high on the agenda.