South America

Brasilia Dialogue Agenda

Presentation by Dr. Leon Clarke

The Latin America Dialogue was hosted by CNI in Brasilia on April 16, 2012. Sessions focused on green growth, issues of importance to Brazil and developing countries. Sessions included: perspectives on the upcoming Rio +20 Conference, green growth in emerging, developing countries, sustainable use of tropical forests, and implications of a low-carbon economy for food, fuels and forests.

Discussions highlighted the importance and challenges of moving towards greener outcomes in rapidly growing nations where development remains crucial. As in previous events, speakers noted the need to account for national circumstances and priorities. Former Environment Minister Carvalho stated that sustainable development solutions require domestic political decisions with a more comprehensive debate involving social and economic implications, not just environmental perspective, most especially in emerging, developing nations where poverty eradication is a priority.  Other observations cited the need for stable policies to encourage business to invest and innovate. Executive Secretary Gaetano (Environment Ministry) noted that views were diverse, even within business, so dialogue was of value to articulate attitudes and reasons underlying diversity. Several speakers indicated that while command and control policies had significantly diminished deforestation  rates, they might have reached a point of diminishing returns. Progress would require more sustainable approaches based on social and economic dimensions. In particular corruption and poor enforcement were serious barriers when returns to illegal activities far exceed legal uses.

CNI welcomed the opportunity to host a meeting to exchange views from both international and domestic perspectives.  Many speakers endorsed and welcomed the opportunity for dialogue on complex issues of importance to so many societal interests.  They felt that deeper discussion was essential to improve awareness and understanding of the challenges and implications of policy choices as a prerequisite for political decisions. They welcomed the focus on issues relevant to business.