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Although the main responsibility for protecting the Brazilian Amazon lies with national actors, international cooperation represents an important complement in the effort to prevent and combat environmental crimes, such as invasions of public lands, fires caused by human action, illegal logging, and illegal mining, among others.
In large part due to the federal government’s lack of interest in promoting environmental protection, the cooperation channels around the Amazon have been weakened. The dismantling of environmental institutions and public authorities’ discourse in support of land invasions and mining in protected lands contribute to higher rates of deforestation, a significant increase in environmental crimes, and systematic violations of the rights of indigenous peoples and traditional communities. As a result, Brazil’s credibility with international partners, and the international community in general, has been undermined.
The Brazilian credibility crisis vis-à-vis international actors adds to a foreign policy that despises international cooperation (including the South-South and regional aspects) and the crisis of Latin American regionalism. This combination of factors means that the great potential of international cooperation in complementing national capacities aimed at tackling environmental crimes, including illegal deforestation, remains little explored.
Against this background, on June 30, 2021, at 10 am (BRT), Plataforma CIPÓ promoted the webinar “Partnerships for the forest: strengthening international cooperation against environmental crimes in the Amazon” , which reflected on past experiences with international cooperation around the Amazon, as well as identified ways to build channels of dialogue, exchanges and joint actions to combat environmental crimes in the region.
The questions addressed during the event included: What are the main challenges and possibilities for international cooperation, including at the subnational level, in preventing and combating environmental crimes in the Amazon? More broadly, what are the potentials of cooperation with external actors in the search for effective solutions to preserve the forest and provide communities in the region with a more just, inclusive, and sustainable development?
- Vandria Borari, indigenous lawyer and ceramist (member of Maparajuba, a group of lawyers working on a pro-bono basis to assist Amazonian people);
- Sérgio Leitão, founder and Executive Director at Instituto Escolhas
- Júlia Mello Neiva, Coordinator of Development and Socio-environmental Rights at Conectas Direitos Humanos
- Moderator: Luísa Falcão, researcher at Plataforma CIPÓ