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CBC and Amazon governors at Vatican

Eight governors from the Amazon region, five Brazilians and three Peruvians, the Pontifical Academy of Science in the Vatican, one day after the end of the Papal Synod. The event was attended by the governor of Amapá and chairman of the Amazon Consortium, Valdes Gois, the governors of Amazonas, Wilson Lima; Piauí; Wellington Dias; Pará, Elder Barbalho and Maranhão, Flávio Dino. The Colombian minister for the environment, Ricardo Lozano and the three governors of Peru: Huanuco, Juan Cornelio, San Martin, Pedro Vargas, and Ucayali, Francisco Torres were also present.

The works were coordinated by Monsignor Roberto Sorondo Chancellor of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences. The civil society was represented by Virgilio Viana from FAS, Alfredo Sirkis, form CBC, André Guimarães from IPAM, Mauricio Bianco from Conservation International and Rosa Lemos from Funbio.

 The Brazilian environment minister Ricardo Salles, whose presence had been announced days before, did not show up. "An absence that filled a gap," mocked one participant.

The Brazilian federal government was represented by the Secretary of Sovereignty and Citizenship of the ministry of Foreign Affairs, Fábio Marzano, who carried out a difficult mission of diplomatic contortionism: he praised with most of the Synod's conclusions, Brazil's historic role and climate achievements - in previous governments - and affirmed that the Bolsonaro government was strictly vigilant in protecting the environment. He provided a detailed list of enforcement operations carried out last month against land grabbers and illegal miners and announced the reduction of forest fires, in September.


Alfredo Sirkis reminded him that deforestation, from September 2018 to September 2019, had increased by 222 % according to preliminary DETER estimates. Nevertheless, he considered the operations listed by Marzano "good news, if accurate."

The general tone of the governors was to take the climate issue seriously, defend the standing forest and affirm the need for sustainable development mechanisms. Barbalho stated that "standing forest is an asset", defended the need for land regularization and ensured that there was no need for further deforestation to significantly increase agricultural and livestock production. " Wellington Dias raised the issue of payment for environmental services. Flavio Dino criticized the "sovereignty" speech when used as an alibi for various environmental aggressions. Valdes Gois raised the issue of remuneration for the carbon stocks in forests and all defended the continuity of the Amazon Fund without detriment to state funds that could be created if it collapsed.

The Catholic Church was present by Monsignor Roberto Sorondo and the cardinals Claudio Humes and Pedro Barreto who reaffirmed the position of Pope Francis and the declaration of the Synod.

Alfredo Sirkis reaffirmed the central role of states at a time when the federal government has been promoting setbacks and the dismantling of decades of environmental and climate construction: “States must take the lead in the process. The international community needs to create financial mechanisms for payment for environmental services, positive carbon pricing and guarantees for investments in decarbonization. ”

The document approved by all the Brazilian and Peruvians governments is strong and well aligned with the Synod Day conclusions. The Brazilians and Peruvians staged a photo op CBC’s "Governors for Climate" banner.

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