U.S. Under Secretary of State for Economic Growth, Energy, and the Environment Keith Krach and Secretary of National Sovereignty and Citizenship of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Brazil Fabio Marzano announced on November 10, 2020 the intent of the Government of the United States of America and the Government of the Federative Republic of Brazil to enhance cooperation on a range of critical environmental protection challenges.
The U.S.-Brazil Environmental Framework Dialogue builds on a strong history of joint environmental cooperation among U.S. and Brazil government agencies. Most recently, this cooperation includes, in part, U.S. EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler’s mission to Brazil in January/February 2020 at the invitation of Brazilian Minister of Environment Ricardo Salles during which they signed the EPA-MMA Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to enhance collaboration between the two agencies on urban environmental issues. This Dialogue also will build on a Declaration of Intent expected to be signed this month by Minister Salles and Chief of the U.S. Forest Service Vicki Christiansen to renew and strengthen cooperation on forest, protected area, and fire management.
The two governments acknowledged that both countries face important policy issues related to the challenges associated with environmental protection and sustainable use of natural resources.
Given ongoing long-term bilateral efforts on many of these issues, the two governments decided that enhanced cooperation could provide an important contribution to the development of sustainable, lasting solutions to protect the environment and natural resources.
The two governments intend to launch a U.S.-Brazil Environmental Framework Dialogue to exchange views and expand cooperation in priority areas to achieve concrete results. The governments will seek to strengthen private sector engagements and partnerships, improve the environment, and combat conservation crimes.
As a first step, the following priority areas for initial engagement through the Dialogue were identified:
Partnerships that protect, enhance, and restore forests and biodiversity while improving the prosperity and well-being of indigenous peoples and local communities in the Amazon, including vulnerable populations, through, among other activities, fire prevention and management, aligned with the goals of the One Trillion Trees initiative and of the Floresta+ program;
Partnerships to promote the sustainable use of biodiversity, through the development of the bioeconomy, including support for research, organization, production, logistics and marketing of biodiversity-related products, as well as payments for ecosystem services;
Innovative forest investment, sustainable and climate resilient agriculture, and technical partnerships on native species to accelerate forest restoration;
- Combating wildlife trafficking, illegal logging and associated trade (ILAT), and illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing;
- Water resources conservation, storage, monitoring and sustainable management
- Sanitation and waste management, including food waste, plastics and e-waste;
- Air quality;
- Safe and environmentally sound mining practices including mining tailings management and artisanal and small-scale gold mining as addressed under the Minamata Convention on Mercury; and,
- Technical and policy exchanges to support Brazil’s 2019 national marine debris action plan.
- The two governments intend to expand discussions on the above topics as soon as possible, with a view to identifying additional specific cooperative activities.
The U.S.-Brazil Environmental Framework Dialogue complements ongoing U.S.-Brazil bilateral cooperation including the U.S.-Brazil Joint Commission on Science and Technology Cooperation and the U.S.-Brazil Strategic Partnership Dialogue.