WWF-Brazil organises debate on the Cerrado biome at Climate Convention
Brasília – As part of the Global Climate Action Summit, the WWF has arranged a number of panels over the course of a single day to debate land use, the importance of forests and food production and its relationship with climate change at the Panda Pavilion during the 24th Conference of the parties to the United Nations (COP24).
The event, called “The 30X30 Forests, Food and Land Challenge”, is an invitation for companies, governments and global citizens to act now to improve the conservation of forests and natural habitats, land use and the production and consumption of food, working together across all sectors of the economy to deliver up to 30% of the climatic solutions required by 2030.
On December 12, there will be a special panel organised by the WWF’s relating to its Food, Markets, Forests and Climate activities in partnership with the Amazon Environmental Research Institute (IPAM) and the Institute of Agricultural and Forest Management and Certification (IMAFLORA), and organised by WWF-Brazil with a focus on the Cerrado – the savannah with the largest biodiversity in the world. Named the “30 x 30 Forest, Food, Land Challenge on the ground: Spotlight on the Cerrado – Brazil”, this panel will involve representatives from the Brazilian government, civil society and the private sector showing how this discussion is becoming a reality in the biome that occupies 25% of Brazil’s territory. We have made progress on different fronts relating to the conversion of natural vegetation, and this has brought us closer to changing the Cerrado’s curve of environmental degradation.
“Since the 1950s, agriculture – and more recently the rapid expansion of soybean and beef production together with real estate speculation – in the Cerrado has caused the loss of around half of the biome’s native vegetation. By 2030, the Cerrado is set to lose dozens of millions of hectares of native vegetation if we continue to follow the current expansion model,” explains Edegar de Oliveira Rosa, Coordinator of WWF-Brazil’s Agriculture and Food Program.
Despite this track record, the coordinator believes that the current scenario represents a unique opportunity to save the rest of the Cerrado, but now with cooperation on a global scale. “We are very close to achieving an international milestone on our agenda to achieve zero conversion of the biome’s natural vegetation. The manifestation for the Cerrado signed by companies on the soybean value chain (SoS Manifesto) currently unites 125 global companies willing to take on this commitment, and in addition to this has acquired a high level of organisation between the parties involved and links with companies and initiatives associated with production and civil society here in Brazil - which indicates that there is a good chance there will be a large global pact for biodiversity involving a dynamic that has never been seen before,” he commemorates.
The Bean Saga
The Cerrado event at COP24 will also involve the launch of an interactive multimedia platform known as a story map, which has been developed to explain the complex process of production, processing and sale of soybean in Brazil and its journey around the world.
“The Bean Saga – the Journey of Brazilian Soy” is a digital platform designed to facilitate understanding of soybean production in Brazil, its arrival and expansion across the country’s territory, the characteristics of this crop, the volumes produced by each state, the destination of this product and the main actors involved in the process,” explains Denise Oliveira, Campaign Leader for WWF-Brazil.
Combining content, images, maps and testimonies, the simple format of this material shows the impacts this has on biodiversity and ecosystems and seeks to send the message that reducing the conversion of natural vegetation caused by cultivating soybean in fundamental and endangered biomes such as the Cerrado is both urgent and possible.
“Available projections show that world demand for soybean will continue to grow, and that production will probably increase as a result. Fighting against this expected rise in demand is not a viable solution given the situation. However, deforestation and the conversion of native vegetation to grow soybean is neither necessary nor justifiable – as areas that have already been cleared are sufficient to triple production without the need to convert new areas,” emphasises Jean Timmers, Global Soy Leader for the WWF.
WWF-Brazil believes that it is possible to divert this expected increase down a more responsible route and to learn from negative social and environmental impacts past and present.
For more information: www.wwf.org.br/thesoybeansaga
30 x 30 Forest, Food, Land Challenge on the ground: Spotlight on the Cerrado – Brazil
Time: 12:00 to 13:00 (Katowice, Poland)
Location: Panda Pavilion at COP24
Moderation: Maurício Voivodic, Executive Director – WWF-Brasil
Ministry of the Environment
WWF-Brasil is a Brazilian non-governmental organization that for 22 years has sought to harmonize human activity with the conservation of biodiversity and promote the rational use of natural resources for the benefit of today's citizens and future generations. Created in 1996, WWF-Brazil develops projects throughout the country and is part of the WWF (World Wide Fund for Nature) Network, the largest independent global nature conservation network operating in more than 100 countries, with the support of around 5 million people.