Harnessing the potential of the Brazilian Amazon through local and global partnerships
Since her appointment as UN Resident Coordinator in Brazil in May 2021, Ms. Silvia Rucks has adopted an integrated approach to support the government’s efforts in tackling the country’s most pressing sustainable development challenges and harnessing the nation’s vast potential in the fight against climate change, deforestation and protection of biodiversity.
• Since the onset of the pandemic, a priority for the UN country team in Brazil, working with national and local authorities and partners, was to protect local populations in the Amazon, including indigenous peoples.
• Following up on this effort, the Resident Coordinator established in 2021 an Interagency Thematic Group for the Amazon, which comprises 19 UN agencies, funds, and programmes. The Group was created to strengthen coordination between national and local stakeholders, including governments, civil society, and private sector, and to mainstream sustainable development through strategic policies, initiatives and joint programmes across the region.
• In order to take advantage of the knowledge and expertise of local stakeholders who know the region in depth, Ms. Rucks and the interagency team established a partnership with the Interstate Consortium of the Legal Amazon, which convenes together the governments of the nine states of the Brazilian Amazon region. This partnership has been strategic to better harness the UN country team’s offer for the Amazon states, focusing on improving livelihoods while protecting the environment. Working closely with subnational governments in addition to the federal government, it enabled the UN country team to better understand the local needs, which informed the decision to create a Multi-Partner Trust Fund (MPTF) to mobilize internal and external resources to invest in the region.
• The Fund, which was officially launched last year during COP27 in Sharm El Sheikh, helps focus global attention on the environmental challenges facing the Amazon region and translate this momentum into concrete actions to provide inclusive economic alternatives for the different communities of the Amazon.
• The decrease of funds intended to protect the Amazon forest in the past few years has contributed to a significant escalation in deforestation in Brazil. By setting up the new Multi-Partner Trust Fund, vulnerable population groups in the region will benefit from the increased provision of sustainable economic alternatives which protect their livelihoods and support their health, energy, climate, and food security. The Fund will not only protect the forest, but also its peoples, in all their diversity.
• Thanks to the outreach and advocacy efforts of the Resident Coordinator, national and international support for the Fund is growing. In addition to Brazilian government officials, Ms. Rucks has presented the Fund to diplomatic representations and international organizations that have already declared their interest in participating and contributing to the initiative. Unlike the recently reinstated Amazon Fund, which supports projects to tackle deforestation, the MPTF for the Amazon targets the 29 million people living in the region.