Article | 10 Avr, 2023

IUCN Director General’s mission to Brazil to reinforce conservation efforts

Brasilia, March 2023 - IUCN Director General Dr Bruno Oberle went on mission to Brazil to meet with the government and other key stakeholders and agree how to work together to address critical environmental issues affecting the country.

Dr. Oberle met with representatives of the Brazilian Ministry of Environment such as João Paulo Capobianco, Executive Secretary and the presidents of the environmental agencies Ibama, Rodrigo Agostinho and ICMBio, Marcelo Marcelino, as well as with the Ministers of Finance, Fernando Haddad; Indigenous Peoples, Sonia Guajajara; Agriculture, Carlos Favaro and Mining and Energy, Alexandre Silveira.

Discussions focussed on the need to protect 50 million hectares of undesignated public lands to safeguard the rights and livelihoods of Indigenous communities, and to protect Brazil's biodiversity from threats such as illegal mining and deforestation. IUCN is well-placed to provide expertise and support for these efforts, including rebuilding environmental policies and entities that were previously suspended.

Key avenues for future collaboration include: further assessments of Brazilian biodiversity on the IUCN Red List of Threatened SpeciesTM; systematically applying the principles of the IUCN Green List of Protected and Conserved Areas to the country’s protected areas; and working together to restore degraded lands. IUCN is also keen to help the government with its proposal for a G20 work track dedicated to Targets 18 and 19 of Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework.

“Brazil is a long-standing IUCN partner whose actions will be key to achieving global goals for climate and nature. Through my meetings with Members and governmental partners here, I was pleased to reaffirm IUCN’s support in achieving the country’s conservation goals, and to strongly welcome President Lula’s commitments to the environment,” said IUCN Director General, Dr Bruno Oberle.

The Director General also met with IUCN’s National Members Committee including the Committee’s Chair, Ms Maria Cecília Wey de Brito from Instituto Ekos, and representatives of WCS Brasil, Ipê, WWF-Brasil and ISPN. Here discussions focussed on enhancing collaboration between IUCN Members and working together to influence the national environmental agenda.

“Dr Oberle’s visit was very important to strengthen ties between Brazil’s IUCN Members and the leadership of the Secretariat. But even more important was that in meetings with the government, the need to define a common agenda with IUCN was agreed, with the collaboration of the National Committee, said the Chair of the Brazilian National Committee of IUCN Members, Ms Maria Cecília Wey de Brito.

Joining Dr Oberle throughout his mission were Justice Antonio Herman Benjamin, former Chair of the IUCN World Commission on Environmental Law (WCEL); Christina Voigt, Chair of WCEL; and Gabriel Quijandría, Regional Director, IUCN South America.

"It has been excellent to meet with the government and the National Committee, to identify possibilities for future collaboration that support the ambition of Brazil's new leadership to promote conservation at national, regional and global levels. The ultimate goal is for IUCN to be more present in Brazil and for Brazil to be more present in IUCN”, said the Director of the IUCN Regional Office for South America, Mr Gabriel Quijandría.

The Director General's mission provided an opportunity to recognise the strategic importance of Brazil, not only as a long-standing partner of IUCN in conservation efforts, but also in achieving the biodiversity targets outlined in the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework. This marked a critical step towards strengthening the country's efforts to build a strong positive agenda for nature, and IUCN looks forward to building on the above in the coming years.