Earth Day 2020: Time to take Climate Action
22 April 2020 – Earth Day celebrates today its 50th birthday with Climate Action as its theme. Today is also the anniversary of the signing of the Paris Agreement to take climate action.
The first Earth Day took place in 1970 when outraged by oil spills, smog and polluted rivers, 20 million people took to the streets of hundreds of cities of the Unites States protesting environmental ignorance and what they considered to be a global crisis. The event is considered to have launched the modern environmental movement.
“It was the planet’s largest civic event at the time and compelled governments to take concrete actions, including passing environmental laws and establishing environmental agencies. In addition to these practical outcomes, the event demonstrated just how much can be achieved when people come together and demand action.” – UN Environment
Earth Day 2020
This year, that marks the 50th anniversary of the event, will also be marked by the year where the Planet took a rest from human activity. Earth Day 2020 calls for 24 hours of virtual actions, big and small, for people and the planet. For 24h the digital landscape will be filled with global conversations, positive acts, performances, webinars and events supporting urgent action on climate change. As the world rushes to plan for a post-pandemic recovery, UN Environment and other parts of the United Nations system see this as “opportunity to call attention to the need to “build back better.” The risks faced by ignoring the threats of environmental destruction must be understood and addressed with protections and policies”. April 22 is a timely reminder to develop more green jobs and a sustainable circular economy, and to urgently taking climate action to protect ourselves from global warming, the loss of natural landscapes and the diseases that come with it.
BVRio and Earth Day
BVRio’s mission is to facilitate compliance with environmental laws and support the green and low carbon economy. It does so by developing Market Mechanisms as instruments for the implementation of public policies and environmental legislation; by contributing to the development of public policies and regulatory frameworks appropriate to the use of market mechanisms in the implementation of environmental laws; and by actively participating in multi-stakeholder initiatives related to forests, agriculture, climate, solid waste, timber and others. BVRio is collaborating with state governments of the Brazilian Amazon, especially Rondônia and Amapá, to design and to implement climate governance instruments, which promote social participation and valorisation of environmental services associated with the reduction of deforestation.
Recently, Pedro Moura Costa, BVRio‘s co-Director, was a lead author of one chapter in the book “Ancillary Benefits of Climate Policy”, launched this April by Springer. The chapter “Financing Forest Protection with Integrated REDD+ Markets in Brazil” recognises that in recent years Brazil has achieved a great degree of reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions due to successful forest management policies that have reduced the deforestation rate by 75% since 2002. It points out that REDD+ practices, such as forest monitoring and relocation, are significant for this advance. The study shows that the effects of investments that prevent deforestation in the Amazon, when properly applied, play an important role both in the conservation of biodiversity, and in other aspects, such as the distribution of rainfall across South America, and the positive social impact for communities that depend on the forest for subsistence. The chapter extends the analysis of a proposal of an Integrated REDD+ approach to fit into Brazil’s REDD strategies that was initially presented in Costa et al. (2017).
For Earth Day 2020, BVRio reminds that sectors contributing to GHG emissions must be able to secure financial resources in a large scale to ensure their sustainability and transition to a low-carbon dynamic. The urgency in talking about GHG emission mitigation and avoiding climate change requires a concerted and integrated effort involving all sectors of the economy. Regarding the land use sector, which is one of the biggest contributors to GHG emissions, financing forest protection with integrated REDD+ Markets is vital for the contribution in the combat of global warming. The unique biodiversity of tropical forests, as is the case of the Amazon Forest, carries non-use value to the entire world.