Yesterday, the people of Brazil had a historic vote in favor of returning President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (Lula) to power. Lula, who served as President of Brazil from 2003 to 2010 (and is the first President in Brazil to return for a third term), is known for his support of governmental policies that favor the environment and disenfranchised social groups. Lula ran on a platform vowing to curb illegal deforestation and mining in the Amazon and support Indigenous Peoples and local community interests and involvement in forest management. As he said in his victory speech yesterday, “Brazil is ready to resume its leading role in the fight against the climate crisis.” And as we know, if the Amazon goes, the global community loses the fight again climate change.
The Governors’ Climate and Forests Task Force (GCF Task Force), a global governmental network that believes in and promotes the power of partnership and subnational leadership, is eager to work with the incoming Lula administration in Brazil as well as with all levels – and parties – of Brazil’s government to promote the people, forest, and climate agenda that the Amazon, and the world, so desperately needs. Only by working together can we promote viable mechanisms for reducing poverty and deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon. We look forward to continuing our partnerships with the government of Norway, which with the election of Lula is exploring the return of the Amazon Fund (halted since 2019). We aim to continue and strengthen our partnership with the Consortium of Amazonian Governors, which expands the environmental agenda. We congratulate all GCF Task Force reelected and incoming Governors, whose leadership will determine the future of the Amazon. We look forward to working with these Governors, with their civil servants, with Secretaries of the Environment and other key state-level leaders in economics, planning, and social departments. And we pledge to continue our partnerships with Indigenous Peoples and local community leaders, with NGOs, with government agencies, and private sector partners. Together, and only together, can we forge a pathway forward that protects forests and benefits people.