What can Brazil do to meet the UN species conservation target?

What can Brazil do to meet the UN species conservation target?

The rate of loss of biodiversity in the world today is the greatest that can be calculated since the time of the extinction of the dinosaurs. It was on this basis that almost 200 countries signed, in December last year, an agreement in the UN convention for the maintenance of biodiversity.

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The signatories of this document agree to take action so that one third of the planet’s surface is protected by the year 2030 with the aim of recovering the population of endangered species and preventing new ones from entering this process.

An article published on The Conversation portal offers five suggestions for the international community to achieve these goals. Based on them, FreeGameGuide suggests specific actions for Brazil.

1. Zero illegal deforestation

Brazil has forests that are vitally important for the removal of atmospheric carbon in the world, but this is not their only function. Both the Amazon and the remnants of the Atlantic Forest, in addition to each of the other biomes in the country, are home to an enormous amount of biodiversity. Brazilian biomes still have a large number of endemic species: species that do not exist anywhere else in the world.

Zeroing deforestation is an ambitious goal, but necessary in this context. The loss of native forest area has grown significantly over the past five years, which has left several species at risk. Cuts made according to forest management plans need not cease to exist, but it is necessary to reserve areas and respect regeneration periods.

2. Demarcation of Indigenous Lands

When talking about legally protecting forest areas, there are different categories that a region can be classified. There are full protection conservation units, which allow few uses of the protected area, and there are sustainable use conservation units. It is necessary to increase the quantity of both types in Brazil, but another class of protected area is even more necessary.

Indigenous lands are areas demarcated for the exclusive use of these traditional communities that have inhabited Brazilian territory since before the arrival of European peoples. Indigenous peoples can contribute a lot to preserving biodiversity. It is already a fact that these areas are more effective in conservation than other classes such as national parks or forest reserves. Expanding them is key to more efficient environmental protection.

3. Marine protection areas

Brazil is one of the countries with the largest coastline in the world, which means that the maritime area that the country controls is also one of the largest. This area is called the Exclusive Economic Zone.

It is not just terrestrial species that need protection to achieve the goal of the UN agreement. With the possession of this large marine territory, it is the country’s duty to establish new protection areas in the ocean as well. Fishing activities and others that take place beyond the mainland, such as oil extraction, must be maintained at sustainable levels.

4. Rethink agriculture

The agricultural sector accounts for an important portion of the national GDP, but its expansion into areas of native forest poses a risk to the conservation of species in these regions. In addition, the associated deforestation has indirect impacts on other species, since the resulting climate changes can affect living beings across the planet.

The current production model is not compatible with the UN’s species protection goal, nor with the actions to be taken against climate change as a whole, defined in another agreement that Brazil also signed. A possible alternative to this point is the last item on our list.

5. Take advantage of regional potential

Environmental issues can be seen as “enemies” of economic development. This need not be true: it is possible to reconcile both parties. However, the way in which development takes place can be done in a more rational way.

An alternative that is discussed in the context of sustainable development is endogenous development: that comes from within. That is, to take advantage of the internal potential of each region, instead of giving in to external pressures on what should be produced there. A practical example of this is to strengthen the production of plant species native to a region and not implement the monoculture of soy, sugarcane, among others.

Source: The Conversation