The 2016 Summer Olympic Games are currently taking place in Brazil. With over 200 million inhabitants, the South American country is one of the most important partner countries for the German Federal Environment Ministry’s International Climate Initiative (IKI). Twenty-five projects have been launched within eight years in the country, with a total funding volume of EUR 101 million. The partnership centres around climate-relevant projects that preserve forests and biodiversity. Other projects work in the areas of emission reductions through the use of renewable energies, sustainable urban development, waste management and alternative fuels.
Not far from Rio de Janeiro, the Olympic host city, is one of the five most important biodiversity hotspots in the world: the coastal rainforest of Mata Atlântica. But with a population of 120 million, Brazil’s east coast is also the heart of the country’s economy. Given the conflicting aims of pursuing both environmental protection and economic growth, preserving the remaining eight per cent of the coastal forest is a great challenge. IKI has therefore been supporting Brazil since 2009 in the field of forest landscape restoration (FLR) with approx. EUR 25 million in funding. For example, in Pau Brasil National Park, it is conserving the remaining tree species with this name and planting young trees.
The Cerrado is the most species-rich savannah landscape in the world and is the second-largest biome in Brazil. It is home to up to 12,000 native species of flora and fauna, serves as the source of the three largest river basins in South America and has a high socio-economic significance for the indigenous and traditional population groups. With an area of more than two million square kilometres, it is almost six times the size of Germany.
In 2013, half of its area was already being exploited by humans, and the annual deforestation rates were higher than those for the Amazon. In the previous year, around 60% of the land-use related CO2 emissions in Brazil came from the Cerrado. Through improved fire management measures and the development of new fire and deforestation monitoring systems, the IKI project ‘Preventing, Controlling and Monitoring Fires in the Cerrado’ helps preserve the Cerrado as a global carbon sink and protect biodiversity.
The IKI-supported Brazilian-German project ‘Protection and Integrated Management of Marine and Coastal Biodiversity - TerraMar’ is working in over 400,000 hectares of marine protected area (Área de Preservacao Ambiental (APA) in Portuguese) on Costa dos Corais. This approx. 135-kilometre long section of coastline on the north-eastern coast of Brazil off the federal states of Pernambuco and Alagoas is one of the largest coral reefs in South America. The project also aims to protect the offshore island group Abrolhos, which is located between the states of Bahia and Espírito Santo. The project supports the development of an integrated environment plan in the coastal and marine areas in these two regions.
IKI supported the Brazilian Government significantly in developing its nationally determined contributions (NDCs). The project ‘REDD Policy Assessment Center’ developed a model that calculates various future scenarios for the development of emissions in the land-use sector. This model functions as an important data source for the development of INDCs. The Brazilian Government has now asked the project to provide in-depth support for the further development of the INDCs.
In addition to a national climate action plan, Brazil is also developing strategies for relevant sectors, such as energy, agriculture, industry and mining. These strategies deal with what are known as sector plans, in which the national mitigation objective is broken down in various sectors into specific aims and concrete measures. In implementing these progressive targets, the Brazilian Ministry of the Environment is faced with a number of new tasks for which it is seeking support and advice. Germany is therefore supporting the Ministry in coordinating and implementing the current eight sector plans. To this end it is promoting the technical and human resources capacities of the Ministry, which is responsible for the coordination of the sector ministries’ plans and the national climate policy as a whole.
In the area of renewable energy, an IKI project supported Brazil through a combination of technical and financial cooperation in establishing an innovative 1 MW photovoltaic installation. The Brazilian energy planning agency EPE estimates that the cumulative installed photovoltaic performance will increase from 9.8 MW in 2015 to 1,400 MW in 2020.
In addition, an IKI advisory project (1,000 roof projects) supported the dissemination of solar thermal installations in social housing in selected regions. The result of the advisory services was that the Brazilian development bank CAIXA funded 43,000 solar thermal installations for low-income families in the first phase of the social housing programme. In the second phase, EUR 200 million from the Brazilian federal budget will be set aside to fund up to 250,000 solar thermal units.
New IKI projects will also support Brazil in the areas of waste management policy, sustainable urban development and alternative fuels.