According to the Fair Finance survey, this cash injection is at risk, as many of these companies could contribute to deforestation in Brazil. The entity warns that the increase in fires in the country can contribute not only to the increase of barriers to Brazilian products, but also to a decrease in investments.
On the other hand, environmental lawyer Maria Cristina Gontijo, a professor at Unisanta (Universidade Santa Cecília) in Santos, says it is necessary to take into account that many countries are interested in a campaign to “delegitimize the sustainability of the Brazilian product”.
“Let’s remember that Brazil is still a country responsible for a large part of agriculture without deforesting its area, which was not done by countries in Asia and Europe,” said the professor.
The argument is similar to that already used by President Jair Bolsonaro to repudiate criticisms of the government’s environmental policy. In July, in a live broadcast on social media, he said that “Europe is an environmental sect”, where “they have preserved nothing”. According to the president, the attacks by nations from the continent to Brazil were unfair and the result of “a commercial fight”.
‘Brazil needs to comply with agreements’
On the other hand, Gontijo said that Brazil, “as a State, has signed international agreements to preserve the Amazon, biodiversity and reduce the spread of greenhouse gases”.
“Brazil needs to comply with these agreements, and international pressure, if it exists, will exist to comply with these agreements and prove that it is complying with them. If it does not, it will suffer international sanctions,” said the lawyer.
The expert believes that, despite the “attempt” to associate the “Brazilian product” with disrespect for the environment, “in reality the Brazilian entrepreneur wants to comply” with norms of good practices in the sector.
“Another situation is that Brazil, as a public power, does not help its businessmen to comply, by demanding that public preservation policies be complied with in order to respect these signed international agreements,” said Gontijo.
‘Fires aren’t all criminals’
According to the Fair Finance network, 90% of the primary vegetation lost in Brazil in the last 35 years was due to agricultural activities. On the other hand, the group points out that, currently, a recent study identified that 62% of illegal deforestation in the Amazon is concentrated in 2% of rural properties, although the predominant model is still to expand the area of pasture and plantation to the detriment of the increase in productivity, which would preserve the forest.
For Gontijo, the Brazilian government “needs better communication with foreign countries”, to demonstrate “that it has been taking the necessary measures” to maintain the country’s biodiversity. According to her, it is necessary to “prove” these actions and “reaffirm your commitment to preserve the forest”. Otherwise, Brazil “will pay for it” and may lose international investment.
“It is important to note that the fires that are occurring and have occurred in the Pantanal and in the Amazon are not all criminals. There are criminal fires, which need to be investigated, they need to be fought, as they have been fought, mainly in the Pantanal region, by the authorities, “said the teacher.
‘Media needs to help government’
The lawyer also says that the media needs to help the government to publicize the correct actions that it would be taking for the preservation of the environment, which would not be reported, according to her, for “ideological” issues.
“The Brazilian government needs not only to give an answer to the international community, but to reaffirm this commitment to environmental preservation, to prove that it is taking the appropriate measures, and that the media needs to assist the government as well, because, due to party or ideological issues , often the media doesn’t report it. And the government needs to be aligned to be able to justly shield the Brazilian entrepreneur who has good environmental practices, who isn’t a deforestator, who has his production certified, who uses environmental compliance in delivery logistics of your product, “said Maria Cristina Gontijo.
The opinions expressed in this matter may not necessarily coincide with those of the Sputnik newsroom