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Manifesto

COOPERATING WITH THE FUTURE

Open letter from the Brazilian cooperative movement to COP26

Only by uniting the efforts of all countries will we be able to stop the advance of global warming through the low-carbon economy.

As cooperative members, we know that it is perfectly possible to ally productivity and development with sustainability, prosperity, and social responsibility. After all, each cooperative – regardless of size, area of operation, or country – is born with the commitment to care for the community where it is located, which can only be done with social justice, environmental balance, and economic viability.

In this open letter to society, we share the vision and position of the Brazilian cooperative movement regarding the main COP26 agendas. Our goal is to contribute to the debates that are being held, in Brazil and in the world, about global warming and the plans for reducing greenhouse gas emissions for the coming years.

We believe that this is a joint effort and that we should cooperate in the construction of public policies capable of promoting the necessary increase in Brazilian productivity, without giving up environmental sustainability and preservation. We see in Brazil a potential to be a protagonist in the construction of a low-carbon economy.

SEE BELOW THE GUIDING PRINCIPLES OF BRAZILIAN COOPERATIVES FOR THE COP26:

1) We are concerned about global warming and support regulation of the carbon market. The past decade was the warmest ever recorded in human history. In this context, it is essential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere. An intelligent way to do this is to regulate the international carbon market – based on the trading of carbon credits by different countries and sectors of the economy. Thus, we value low emission and carbon capture models, with investments and efforts for the preservation, conservation, and recovery of the environment.

We believe it is necessary to create a regulatory environment favorable to this market, which enables easy access to national and international resources for environmental projects located in public areas or on private properties, such as Permanent Preservation Areas (PPAs), Legal Reserves (LRs) and Private Natural Heritage Reserves (PNHRs).

2) We are favorable to an inflexible and comprehensive fight against the illegal deforestation of the Amazon and the other Brazilian biomes. We know that deforestation increases the risk of exposure of humans and other species to the effects of global warming. As such, it is necessary to recognize that command and control measures against illegal deforestation are essential and indispensable. Moreover, we count on the support of all nations to achieve this goal more and more efficiently.

To prevent illegal deforestation in the Amazon and other Brazilian biomes, we support the full and prompt application of current environmental and land legislation, especially the new Forest Code (Law 12,651/2012) – a regulation that has advanced in making increased productivity in the field compatible with environmental preservation. It should be noted: Brazilian cooperatives participated actively, and with a prominent role, in the elaboration and approval of the new Forestry Code. As a result, today, Brazilian producers must respect preservation zones that vary from 20% to 80% of their land, depending on the biome. This is a fundamental milestone for environmental preservation in Brazil and should be seen as an example for all nations.

We know that we still have duties and commitments to be assumed and fulfilled, but Brazil must also demand an effective recognition for the positive actions it has been developing in favor of the environment. We have excellent examples of sustainability all over the country, and we believe that they should count on national and international economic support instruments to develop even further.

3) We advocate the regulation of laws that encourage the adoption of measures to protect and preserve the environment. We cite as an example the National Policy of Payment for Environmental Services, approved in January of this year, which offers incentives – monetary or otherwise – to rural producers who adopt effective measures to protect and promote the quality of the environment. This remuneration depends on the verification and proof of the implemented actions. We also believe that issuing green bonds can decisively collaborate to increase the interest of people and institutions in sustainable projects.

n addition, we recognize the need to encourage the production of renewable energy by rural producers. Our cooperatives already have great expertise in the matter, through photovoltaic plants and the generation of electricity from biogas – technology that transforms environmental liabilities arising from rural production into clean energy. For this, we consider of utmost importance the global recognition of the need for diversification and sustainability of the energy matrix, with the development of public policies and national and international economic incentives to promote the sector.

4) We believe in the importance of Brazilian food production for the fight against hunger and for food security in the world. According to the United Nations (UN), with the exponential growth of the global population, it has become essential to expand food production in order to combat hunger and ensure food security in the world.
The Brazilian production, especially through the agricultural cooperatives, has a fundamental role in this process, with a significant presence in the global trade of coffee, soy, corn, cotton, beef, chicken, pork, sugar, orange juice, and cellulose, among other foods and fibers.

Ending hunger, providing access to safe and nutritious food, and ensuring food security and availability are the guiding pillars of our movement. Aiming at the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) established by the UN, we believe it is necessary to foster public policies for free international trade. We also advocate a global fund to promote no hunger, which crosses geographical and political barriers in conflict zones, especially for the most vulnerable populations.

5) Pleiteamos políticas públicas de fomento ao cooperativismo como arranjo produtivo sustentável.The cooperative movement is a sustainable, environmentally responsible, and socially fair economic model, capable of providing productive inclusion, economies of scale, income generation, and regional and local development. This is precisely why it actively collaborates to bring Brazil closer to meeting the targets set by the Paris Agreement (COP21).

We are a modern business model, with well-defined management and governance structures, which connects millions of people in the countryside and in the city. We are making Brazil grow through collective entrepreneurship and the sharing economy. We are a tool for small and medium-sized rural producers to reach domestic and foreign markets that they could not reach on their own. We are sources of work and income, so that professionals from various segments, such as education, health, and transportation, can offer services in an organized way, achieving economies of scale. We bring together people who share their savings and, as a result, have access to credit and other financial services with better terms. We are the only alternative for access to services of public interest in many cities and communities around the world.

To continue to grow and to collaborate with the sustainability of the country, we need adequate promotion policies, as well as incentive programs for business models that value the green economy, such as the cooperative movement and other forms of association.

The Brazilian cooperatives would like to use this letter to reaffirm their commitment to work for the construction of a better, fairer, and more sustainable future for this and future generations. We are aware of the many challenges we will face in the coming years, and we see in them the opportunity to build a better world, guided by the spirit of cooperation.

OCB System

Brasilia, October 29, 2021