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Amazonian bioeconomies: paths and synergies
The 2nd Concertation Meeting in 2023, held on May 8th in partnership with Amazon 2030, brought into dialogue subject “Amazonian bioeconomies: paths and synergies”. With over 200 attendees, the event was mediated by the initiative's executive secretaries, Lívia Pagotto and Fernanda Rennó.

The 2nd Concertation Meeting in 2023, held on May 8th in partnership with Amazon 2030, brought into dialogue subject “Amazonian bioeconomies: paths and synergies”. With over 200 attendees and mediation by the initiative’s executive secretaries, Lívia Pagotto and Fernanda Rennó, the event departed from the premise that the concept of bioeconomy is still under discussion in countless forums, networks, institutions, proposals, teams and movements, which discuss the importance and centrality of bioeconomy for the sustainable development of the Brazilian Amazon and have in common a great abundance of formulations and many connections between  them.

Enriching the debate, the Meeting featured the works and statement of Marajó island visual artist and ceramist, Ronaldo Guedes, which will also compose the Concertation’s visual communication in the next period.

According to Lívia Pagotto’s introduction, the Concertation stems from accumulated knowledge so that initiatives, actions and structuring public policies can advance and continue. In regard to bioeconomy, the network sought to bring this diversity of bioeconomies into dialogue, each with its specificities and also with the synergies between them, in order to make this set of concepts practical in the Amazon.

“There are many challenges in working with a diverse Amazon”

(Carina Pimenta)

The first guest speaker was Carina Pimenta, National Secretary of Bioeconomy of the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change, bringing the Ministry’s vision on bioeconomy. She stressed that, for the first time, we have a Department that is dedicated to this subject, which represents one of the main ministry’s strategies to place economic and ecological transition through bioeconomy at the top of the federal government’s priorities. With 12 ministries currently working with specific programs and actions for the sector, bioeconomy provides increased complexity to thinking of public policies on account of the very diversity of publics and, consequently, support mechanisms, funding, biomes, sectors, subnational governments and local realities.

According to Carina, building a framework that encompasses this set of policies has been the Department’s focus, with special attention to issues such as access to genetic heritage and policy for payment for environmental services. Given the diversity of the bioeconomy universe in the national context and not only in the Amazon, the ministry intends to work with specific forums. Regarding the Amazon, the PPCDAM  (Action Plan for the Prevention and Control of Deforestation in the Legal Amazon) advocates that biodiversity and socio-biodiversity be valued, addressing alternatives to competitiveness and expansion of the business environment without stimulating biome degradation.

“Our country is capable of building a strong policy for bioeconomy”

(Jorge Viana)

Next, head of the Brazilian Trade and Investment Promotion Agency (ApexBrasil), Jorge Viana, spoke, initially highlighting the agency’s major challenge in finding resonance for its propositions with the National Congress and local political leaders in the Amazon, which hinders the adoption of policies that require regulation. Therefore, for now, it is the federal executive’s responsibility to work directly with actors in the specific sector of bioeconomy.

Emphasizing the small proportion of Brazilian exports from its Northern and Northeastern regions, Viana stated that Apex aims to invest in these regions to expand business opportunities. The agency sees the Amazon as a major opportunity for extending its position in international trade, especially with bioeconomy products, and should expand its operations to cooperatives and associations. For him, the country lacks joint action, a national bioeconomy proposal that, as with agribusiness, integrates a narrative of wealth and development with the support of the Union, by means of financial and technological support. It  is necessary to turn Brazil’s comparative advantage with the Amazon and biodiversity into an economic asset.

“Federal public policies can be the leverage for having scale for sociobiodiversity production”

(Nabil Kadri)

Subsequently, Nabil Kadri, Deputy Managing Director of Environment at BNDES, addressed the need to place Brazilian biomes at the center of medium and long-term development strategies, in order to unlock the necessary structural issues, and effectively transform such potential in reality.

Kadri reported on the changes to the bank’s organizational chart, which recreated the environment and social development departments, as well as reinstated the Amazon Fund committees, redeeming this important source of funding for the protection of the biome and sustainable development in the region.

He also stated that, even in previous years, when these issues were no longer a priority for the institution, the technical teams tested various existing funding mechanisms and found that, in all modalities (whether harvest plan, non-refundable credits, guarantees or other),  the bioeconomy of the forest has always been the field with the most proposals and allocated resources, demonstrating the maturity of the sector.

For Nabil, the challenge now is to identify how federal public policies can become a leverage for scaling socio-biodiversity products, and a good example is the PNAE (National School Feeding Program), which ensures a large internal market for healthy foods associated with customs locations. The bank is convinced that with the right stimuli, it is possible to generate the targeted results and that it is necessary to build solutions that last beyond the political cycles.

“We need to create opportunities that favor conservation and income generation”

(Pedro Neto)

Afterwards, the Deputy Secretary of Innovation, Sustainable Development, Irrigation and Cooperativism of the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock (MAPA), Pedro Neto, spoke of the federal administration’s prevailing desire for complementarity concerning matters related to the transition to a green economy, income generation, improved quality of life and environmental conservation, understanding the bioeconomy as a new way to achieve these goals in a sustainable way.

For him, the first major stimulus came from  MAPA’s participation in the PPCDAM working groups, which allowed one to realize that command and control actions are not enough to stop deforestation. Another lesson concerns the need for economic alternatives and ways to improve coexistence with the agricultural sector in the region, in addition to creating opportunities that favor income generation and improved quality of life with conservation.

Pedro described the “Amazônia Mais Sustentável” – More Sustainable Amazon – Program, mostly derived from the discussions held at the PPCDAM, through which the government plans to support 27 production chains, taking into account national policies such as Genetic Resources and Bioinputs, the National Program for the Recovery of Degraded Areas, decarbonized chains and dialogue with society.

“We are before some of the most beautiful and one of the oldest ceramics in the Americas”

(Ronaldo Guedes)

And the last guest speaker, visual artist and ceramist from Pará, Ronaldo Guedes, spoke of his work in the Art Studio Mangue Marajó project. According to him, the Marajó island region boasts wealthy cultural traditions and ancestral knowledge, but is also in great need of attention and support to strengthen its identity, and to generate employment and income. The  Art Studio is precisely an effort to fill these gaps and is aimed at disseminating knowledge, sharing and safeguarding a very emblematic ceramics style for the history of Brazil.

The project seeks to understand the origins of the civilizations that inhabited the Marajó region around 3600 years ago and left traces in soil and water management and in the art of Marajó island ceramics as a legacy for future generations. Efforts have been made to research and share this experience and memory, so that the local community acquires a sense of belonging and becomes the protagonist of its own history.


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