Honorable President of the United Nations General Assembly, Volkan Bozkir,
Honorable Heads of State and Government,
Ladies and gentlemen,
The rational and sustainable use of the extremely vast resources found in the Brazilian territory, for the benefit of our society, is a priority for Brazil. We therefore pay special attention to the discussions of the Biodiversity Summit, which may determine the future of these resources and the new contours of the 21st century economy.
We are well aware of the huge potential of the bioeconomy.
We must reach a consensus and properly combine sustainability and development; environmental preservation and economic innovation.
In Brazil, we are proud to belong to the megadiverse group of countries and to own the largest extension of native vegetation on the planet, which accounts for 60% of our national territory.
Over the years, as a member of parliament and now as President, I have always made it clear that one of the priorities of the Brazilian State should be the protection and sovereign management of our natural resources.
Since 2019, my Administration has responsibly adopted environmental protection policies, aware of the two-fold challenge we face.
We must preserve our biomes and, at the same time, we need to overcome complex social challenges, such as unemployment and poverty, while guaranteeing food security to our people.
In 2020, we have made progress in this direction and, despite facing a difficult and unusual situation due to the pandemic, we have boosted surveillance actions in our biomes and strengthened the means to fight degradation of ecosystems, foreign sabotage and biopiracy.
In the Amazon region, we have launched “Operation Green Brazil 2”, which has so far successfully reversed the upward trend in the deforested areas, as observed in previous years.
We will continue this Operation to further step up efforts to fight these problems, which favor those organizations that, in connection with certain NGOs, spearhead environmental crimes in Brazil and abroad.
In the Brazilian wetlands, with the support of the Armed Forces, we have strengthened integration among government agencies, so as to act in a coordinated manner and, thus, fight fire outbreaks around that region.
This is clear-cut evidence that we remain firmly committed to Brazil´s sustainable development, based on highly efficient and biotechnology-driven agriculture, as well as on the preservation of our environmental heritage.
Over the past few decades, the Brazilian agricultural sector has achieved substantial yield increases and demonstrated its ability to expand production levels and feed the world, while reducing its already very low environmental impact.
I strongly reject international greed towards our coveted Amazon. And we shall defend it against actions and narratives that may prove harmful to our national interests.
We therefore cannot accept that false and irresponsible information serve as a pretext to impose unfair international rules, that fail to consider the important environmental accomplishments we have achieved for the benefit of Brazil and the world at large.
Accordingly, may I call to mind that the Convention on Biological Diversity enshrines the sovereign right of States to use their natural resources, in accordance with their environmental policies, and that is precisely what we intend to do with the huge wealth of resources found in the Brazilian territory.
Also in this regard, I call upon all participants to renew their commitment to the negotiations under the Convention, recognizing that Member States have common but differentiated responsibilities.
Let me also recall that the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework must take into account the devastating impact of the coronavirus crisis on the world economy, particularly as regards developing countries.
Do rest assured that Brazil will continue to play its part in the negotiations, always with the purpose of ensuring funds be available for the protection of biodiversity, not only by sharing the benefits from the bioeconomy but also through novel mechanisms, such as payment to environmental service providers.
In Brazil, Program Forest+, launched by the Ministry of Environment, already establishes payment for environmental conservation projects and the sustainable use of our ecosystems.
At the international level, an initiative along these lines could possibly result in even more positive impacts for the environment and for native communities in Brazil.
All countries must fulfill their responsibility, play their part accordingly and unite against evils such as biopiracy, environmental sabotage and bioterrorism.
My Administration remains firmly committed to the sustainable development and sovereign management of Brazilian resources.
We will always be open to contribute to a debate anchored on the respect for the three pillars of the Convention on Biological Diversity: conservation, sustainable use and benefit sharing. I expect the same commitment from you.
Thank you all.