In Brazil, States and Federal Government point out the need for changes in the Amazon Fund

Nov 11, 2020

The public hearing was held by the Federal Supreme Court (STF).


The nine Brazilian Member states of the Governors’ Climate and Forests Task Force, which make up the Legal Amazon, participated in a public hearing held by Brazil’s Supreme Federal Court to discuss the Amazon Fund on October 23rd. The purpose of the hearing was to discuss the importance of the Fund for the protection of the Legal Amazon.


Created as a finance mechanism to mobilize investments in activities that tackle deforestation, promote conservation, and advance the sustainable development of the Legal Amazon, the Amazon Fund is currently paralyzed. Unhappy with changes, donor countries that have sponsored the Amazon Fund have suspended the transfer of further payments.


Recently a case was brought to the Federal Supreme Court requesting that the Amazon Fund resume operations. The nine states of the Legal Amazon were invited by the court to provide input to better assess the case for resuming disbursements and operation of the Fund.


During the hearing, the GCF Task Force states and the Federal Government agreed on the need for a reformulation of the Fund. The Secretary of Environment of Amazonas, Eduardo Taveira, reinforced the importance of recognizing the context of the Amazon region when discussing the future of the Amazon Fund. In Taveira’s view, the Fund needs to go beyond support for command and control actions to have a lasting impact in the region. “It is necessary to enhance the Fund’s dynamics. Without this resource, it is unlikely that we will have good results next year, as only command and control do not solve the problem”, highlighted Taveira.


Taveira was joined by all states of the Legal Amazon in reiterating the relevance of the Fund for the region. Marli Santos, GCF Task Force delegate and representative of Tocantins, emphasized that the fund’s resources “generate a positive impact in the social and environmental sphere.” Engaging the private sector in conservation projects and actions in the Amazon was also considered a priority by the states


The States highlighted actions they have taken using resources that have already been disbursed by the Amazon Fund, such as state-led initiatives to expand the Rural Environmental Registry (CAR in Portuguese). The CAR integrates environmental information on rural properties through a database on land ownership that assists authorities in monitoring environmental compliance, flags illegal activities, and provides guidance for environmental and economic planning in the states.


It is also critical to maintain the direct participation of the states in an eventual reformulation of the Fund. The president of the Forum of Secretaries of Environment of the Legal Amazon and Secretary of Environment of Mato Grosso, Mauren Lazzaretti, highlighted that it is the states that face the daily reality. She stressed that “the importance of the Amazon is undeniable” and reflected that “its importance is compatible with the challenges it presents”.

About the Public Hearing

Minister Rosa Weber, of the Supreme Federal Court (STF), conducted the public hearings on October 23rd as part of a process to reach a judgment of the Direct Action of Unconstitutionality for Omission (ADO) 59, in which opposition parties point out the unconstitutional omission of the Union regarding the suspension of the Amazon Fund. The hearing was attended by 28 entities, including agencies of the federal government and the states that comprise the Legal Amazon, research institutes and specialists.