Expand to preserve: PGTA analysis in the resumption of the National Environmental and Territorial Policy for Indigenous Lands in Brazil

The Territorial and Environmental Management Plans (PGTA) of Indigenous Lands are instruments built by Brazilian indigenous communities to systematize collective desires and commitments for territories and the good living of current and future generations. 

Despite their importance, the PGTA receive scarce funds for implementation, whether from the Brazilian state or other sources, such as international cooperation and philanthropy.

Inesc attended the Side Event for HLPF: Wellbeing of Vulnerable DWD communities in COVID19

On the last July 14, Inesc participated in the side event promoted by the Global Forum against Discrimination (GfoD), held within the scope of the United Nations High Level Political Forum (HLPF 2020), where it denounced the impacts of Covid-19 in the most discriminated populations.

The organizations that make up the Forum also presented the situations of their respective countries, such as the Haratines in Mauritania, the Forgerons in West Africa, the Bantu in Sudan, the Roma community in Europe, the Burakumin in Japan and the Dalits in South Asia . The meeting also had the participation of Givania Silva, Coordinator of the National Coordination of Black Rural Quilombola Communities (CONAQ), who presented the situation of quilombola communities in Brazil.

The Global Forum against Discrimination was created in September 2019, during the activities of HLPF 2019, and was articulated by the NGO National Campaign on Dalits Human Rights (NCDHR), from India. The term DWD – Discrimination based on work and descent, is used to define the type of discrimination suffered by Dalits. However, the Global Forum against Discrimination welcomes other discriminated social groups, such as the Roma, from Europe and the Quilombolas, from Brazil, because they understand that in general the human rights violations they suffer have some similarities, related to historical structures of domination, and that together they can influence to change this situation.

The speech by Inesc’s Political Advisor, Carmela Zigoni, follows below.

Brazil reaches today with the mark of 1 million and 8 hundred and 85 thousand confirmed cases of corona virus and more than 72 thousand deaths. Looking back, the month of March ended with 6 thousand cases and 500 deaths. At that time, the president Jair Bolsonaro publicly stated that Covid-19 was just a “mild cold”.

In these four months, the country has lived with a chaotic management of crisis, where two health ministers resigned their positions for not agreeing with the guidelines imposed by the president, who acted from the beginning against social isolation.

The Covid-19 pandemic made economic and social inequalities in Brazil more evident. The most vulnerable groups in society are also the most affected by the Corona virus: indigenous people, quilombolas, the black population living in slums, homeless, waste pickers, women and the LGBT population.

Brazilian inequality has similarities with other places in the world, as it has its origins in the colonization process, where racial and gender markers were strategic for the policies of control and domination of indigenous and Afro-descendant groups. Brazil was the last country in the West to abolish slavery, in 1888. In other words, since the occupation of this territory by Europeans, we lived 3 hundred 88 years with slavery and only 132 years with freedom.

The legacy of this process is structural racism, materialized by institutional and personal racism. An example of how this happens in practice is the naturalization of the place of black women in carrying out domestic work in white families’ homes: the domestic workers were the last to achieve equal labor rights, in 2017. Or in political representation, where although blacks represent half of the population, in the Parliament they are less than 25%, and currently we have only one indigenous representative. The same Parliament has only 15% women. And so it is in all public and private institutions in Brazil. Another example is the criminalization of poverty that generated a true genocide of black youth: about 20,000 thousand young blacks killed a year in the name of the war on drug trafficking.

Now, with the pandemic, although the contamination rate between whites and blacks is similar, blacks die more: the lethality rate among whites is 38% and among blacks 55%. In favelas, where it is more difficult to comply with hygiene and social distance recommendations, due to poor basic sanitation and housing conditions, black poor people have three problems: the virus, the hunger and the presence of the police forces. And are the blacks, especially black women, that are in the front line of the Covid-19 in the caring services and what it is called essential activities: as cleaning, food delivery, etc.Brazil reached 2020 without conditions to face the health crisis, as pointed out by the Inesc report – Brazil with low immunity, published in April this year. The social cuts initiated in 2015 with fiscal austerity led to the under-funded of the Public Health System by approximately $ 3.7 billion in 5 years, at the same time that the population grew. Education and environment policies are also underfunded, I believe that everyone should remember what happened to the Amazon last year. And the fiscal injustice is historical in the country.

Parliament approved in April the amount of $60 billion in budget to tackle the pandemic, but only 40% of the proceeds have been spent so far. The great victory of civil society was the emergency basic income, approved by Parliament against the will of the president. This resource aims to serve more than 50 million Brazilians in extreme poverty, in the form of a monthly payment of $ 100 for workers who have earned less than $ 5,000 in 1 year, but the digital exclusion and civil documentation has hampered access for women. people who need it most.

In relation to quilombolas, their identity and their rights were recognized in the 1988 Constitution. Quilombolas are the descendants of enslaved Africans who resisted established power and founded sustainable communities far from the colonial order. They currently suffer from the pressures of mining and agribusiness ventures, and a series of human rights violations.Today, Brazil has more than 2,000 thousand quilombola communities, but less than 7% of its lands have been officially recognized. The entire budget for quilombola communities has been cut since 2016.

Now, in the pandemic, they are carrying out autonomous monitoring of cases and deaths, since the health system ignores them completely. Last week, the president vetoed 16 points of the emergency bill for indigenous and quilombola peoples (pl1142/2020), including guaranteeing access to drinkable water, testing for Covid-19 and the distribution of masks.

We know that race is a social construction of colonialism, a mechanism used to subdue certain peoples in relation to others. We thought that the world, after the United Nations Declaration, would be moving to overcome this sad page of history, but what we see today in several countries is the deepening of unequal relations based on racism. In Europe, the resurgence of neo-Nazi groups; in the United States, armed white supremacists on the streets, authorized by the president’s speeches. In Brazil, Pandemic reveals to the world the structural racism of our society. The whole world is saying that Black lives matter. In Brazil we are saying: As long as there is racism there will be no democracy. The Global Forum against Discrimination, becomes even more relevant in this scenario.

Inesc at COP 27: the organization has broadened its scope of action in the socioenvironmental agenda

The 27th edition of the Conference of Parties, COP 27, will take place between 6 and 18 of November in Egypt, gathering member countries of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Considered the largest event on climate issues worldwide, the Conference is where negotiations to limit the rise in global temperatures take place.

With more than three decades acting on issues related to the environment, with special attention to the COPs, Inesc (Institute of Socioeconomic Studies) will bring forth issues regarding energy transition, policy on subsidies to fossil source, carbon market, climate change adaptation, rights of indigenous peoples, besides calling attention to the climate impacts of the Agreement between the European Union and Mercosur.

Energy transition with social justice

With the purpose of calling attention to the policy on subsidies to fossil fuels, Inesc will take part, along with other countries, in the panel “Financing the energy transition: the dangers of subsidies to fossil fuels and false solutions”, which will take place on November 16. On this occasion, we will release the fifth edition of the Study “Subsidies to fossil fuels in Brazil: know, assess and reform”.

Also on this issue, the panel “Connecting local energy projects to transparency and participation on the implementation of NDCs”, hosted on the same day, will show how Brazil is doing with regards to the implementation of the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) in the energy sector. The NDCs indicate the targets for reduction of greenhouse gas emissions connected to the Paris Agreement. During the event, Inesc will comment on the results of the study ‘Brazil’s Energy Matrix and the Paris Agreement: Between lack of ambition and the many challenges of NDC implementation‘. Inesc is part of the organizing committee in both panels, which will take place in parallel to this year’s COP.

The organization will also be involved in activities of the Clean Energy Coalition: for an energy transition that is socially just and free from gas, in which it is a member of the executive coordination. Two events on energy transition, climate justice and reduction of inequality will be held at the Brazil Climate Action Hub.

Carbon market = license to pollute

Also at the Brazil Climate Action Hub, Inesc will take part in two other activities. Promoted by Grupo Carta de Belém, in which we are also part of the executive coordination, the panels will have the carbon market as a cross-sectional subject matter.

The first, expected to take place this Thursday (10th) will debate worries regarding the economic, socioenvironmental, climate and social effects of the trade liberalization provided for by the Agreement between Mercosur and the European Union. The second, which will take place on Friday (11th), will show what is at stake in the agricultural agenda. The purpose is to establish a connection between climate negotiations and biodiversity, including issues on biotechnology and financing.

There is only climate justice with the protection of Indigenous Peoples

On November 12, Inesc will take part in the “Global climate financing” roundtable, together with representatives from Ipam (Amazon Environmental Research Institute), Apib (Brazil’s Indigenous People Articulation), Emergent, and the Norwegian government. The roundtable will debate the urgency of targeting international efforts for climate financing to protect forests and indigenous peoples.

Inesc advocates for priority financing of projects thought out and managed by the indigenous communities themselves, whose role in fighting the climate crisis is the most evidenced. The tools created by Brazil’s native peoples for the preservation of their territories are included in the Environmental and Territorial Management Plans (PGTA in Portuguese), currently one of the main tools in the National Policy for the Territorial and Environmental Management of Indigenous Lands (PNGATI in Portuguese). This is the agenda Inesc will set forth.

Foto: Chiara Worth/UNclimatechange

Get to know Inesc’s trajectory in the socioenvironmental area

More than three decades in the defense of forests and the rights of indigenous peoples, quilombolas and traditional communities to their territories and ways of life 

Defense of a truly healthy and sustainable environment has always been in Inesc’s (Institute of Socioeconomic Studies) line of action. Since its foundation in 1979, the focus on environmental issues has been mixed with the insurance of rights and respect to all peoples, especially indigenous, quilombolas and traditional communities.

During Brazil’s redemocratization process, Inesc began a serious of historical landmarks that ensured its place in the forefront of the fight against the long-standing threat to the right to territories and ways of life that many Amazonian peoples had been facing.

Iara Pietricovsky, Bachelor in Social Sciences with post-graduate and masters’ degrees in Political Science, tells us this story. Along her trajectory, she gained experience researching indigenous populations, culture and development. With more than three decades acting before Inesc, Iara has always actively monitored socioenvironmental issues. As a member of the institution’s Management Board, she currently represents Inesc in international matters, especially the socioenvironmental and indigenous issues, as well as trade and development financing. Iara has been closely following the evolution of COP for 13 years.

How it all began

First National Rubber Tapper Meeting

Between 11 and 17 of October 1985, Inesc organized, together with Fundação Pró-memória, in the Ministry of Culture, the first National Rubber Tapper Meeting. The meeting was aimed at taking demands to government agencies and legislators. During this meeting, the National Rubber Tapper Council was created, a flagship entity for the category. After the event, Inesc and Fundação Pró-memória submitted the meeting’s documents to institutions like the Rubber Superintendence, besides offices of legislators committed to social causes.

“This was the beginning of the debate on the need to establish extractive reserves. The first came to be in 1990, after Chico Mendes’s death”. Iara Pietricovsky, Member of Inesc’s Management Board.

Civil society acting in environmental debates

National Constituent Assembly

On February 1st, 1987, the National Constituent Assembly was established, which led to Brazil’s current Federal Constitution, enacted on October 5, 1988.

“Inesc initially took part when a group of people, among them experts in Constitutional Law, drafted proposals for the Constitution. We were an important agent who supplied this group with various information, especially regarding indigenous, environmental, children’s, teenagers’ and agrarian rights, among others. These subjects were part of demands from social movements that organized to advocate that their rights should also be included in the new Constitution”. Iara Pietricovsky, Member of Inesc’s Management Board.

When the constituent process actually began, Inesc actively monitored the process along with other organizations connected to the indigenous agenda, such as the National Indigenous Union (UNI in Portuguese).

“We were very involved with indigenous issues, even taking part in the drafting of the text that is currently in our Federal Constitution. During the Constituent process, we raised our awareness on the environmental issue and began including it more consistently as a part of our strategic vision”. Iara Pietricovsky, Member of Inesc’s Management Board.

Collor Government

Brazil began reorganizing based on a democratic setting and, in 1990, Fernando Collor de Mello comes into office, promoting important changes in the public institution responsible for implementing the indigenous policy.

“There was a debate within civil society on removing the education and health issues from Funai [National Indigenous Foundation in Portuguese] and including them in their respective ministries, at the same time that proposals were set forth to strengthen the foundation by including it within the sphere of the Presidency. At the peak of this debate, Collor implemented the division that linked Funai to the Ministry of Justice without society being heard, and this considerably changed the strategy of indigenous and indigenist organizations”.  Iara Pietricovsky, Member of Inesc’s Management Board.

Parallel to this issue, this is the government that proposed Rio-92 be hosted in Brazil.


After the Stockholm Conference of 1972 – as became known the first great United Nations Conference on the Human Environment – and the Brundtland Report of 1987 – a document elaborated by the World Commission on Environment and Development which already pointed out the incompatibility between sustainable development and production and consumption standards – Rio-92, held between 3 and 14 of June, 1992 in the City of Rio de Janeiro, was the first great United Nations conference addressing the environment and development.

Inesc took part in all these events, but only during Rio-92 did it actually join the civil society, indigenous, indigenist and environmentalist organizations.

Parallel to Rio-92, large events and debates took place at the Flamengo Park, led by social movements and organizations from many countries. This movement counted on the active participation and organization of Inesc. The Brazilian NGOs and Social Movements Forum (FBOMS in Portuguese) was born then, gathering, at the time, more than one thousand organizations from all across the world. Inesc was part of this Forum’s coordination for a long time.

“Since then’, we began addressing the environmental issue as a subject matter in itself, bringing forth indigenous and environmental issues that were articulated within Inesc, and the term socioenvironmental gains momentum”. Iara Pietricovsky, Member of Inesc’s Management Board.

As a result of Rio-92, various conferences regarding the environment were created, besides Rio + 5 (1997, United States), Rio + 10 (2002, South Africa), Rio + 20 (2012, Brazil). Inesc actively participated in all of them.

“We began to monitor the United Nations’ process on the one hand, and on the other, joined global NGO forums, such as Social Watch, which also allowed us to act internationally”. Iara Pietricovsky, Member of Inesc’s Management Board.


COP is the acronym used for the Conference of Parties, which are regular meetings between countries that are part of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Held every year since 1995, COP was created in Brazil during Rio-92, with the purpose of debating climate change, finding solutions for environmental problems that affect the planet and negotiate agreements between countries to mitigate climate change.

COP reached its peak in 2009. This is when Inesc begins actively impacting negotiations, holding a chair in Brazil’s mission during the Lula government.

“Thanks to Inesc, the Lula government began accepting civil society representatives in Brazil’s missions in climate conferences. From then on, we took part in all COP and pre-COP meetings”. Iara Pietricovsky, Member of Inesc’s Management Board. 

In 2018, during the Bolsonaro Administration, the participation of organized civil society was forbidden in official Brazilian meetings, and all existing participation spaces were dismantled.

Socio + environmental: a consolidated policy

COP 27

Inesc’s trajectory of more than three decades in the socioenvironmental agenda gives it the necessary maturity to get in tune with heretofore little explored issues. From the defense of the indigenous agenda at the beginning, the organization also focuses its action in issues like energy transition, policy for fossil fuels subsidies, carbon market, climate justice, besides international agreements that impact the right to the environment and of the peoples of the forest.

“And all these issues are interconnected. Our trajectory proves that it is impossible to treat the environmental issue apart from the defense of the rights to territories and the ways of life of all peoples, especially indigenous, quilombolas and traditional populations”. Iara Pietricovsky, Member of Inesc’s Management Board.

How much does it cost to make PGTA happen? Funding possibilities for Indigenous Management Plans (PGTA) in Brazil

The Indigenous Management Plans (PGTA in Portuguese) are instruments built by the indigenous peoples of Brazil to guarantee their ways of existence and demand public policies. Elaborated collectively and in a unique way by each people, they synthesize the wishes and demands of the communities in areas such as territorial protection, income generation, education, food sovereignty, and governance. Because of their organicity and relevance, the Indigenous Management Plans have become the main instrument for implementing the National Policy for Territorial Management of Indigenous Lands (PNGATI), established in 2012.

In the context of the attack on indigenous territorial rights, however, both the Indigenous Management Plans and PNGATI have suffered from growing state underfunding. There is no mention of the Indigenous Management Plans in the Bolsonaro government’s budget plans, as the Inesc study shows. In addition, the Bolsonaro government has also hindered the arrival of international cooperation resources for the elaboration and implementation of the Indigenous Management Plans, as is the case of the Amazon Fund.

As another input to confront this situation and strengthen the territory-based solutions to confront climate change, Inesc launches the methodology of cost estimates of the Indigenous Management Plans, which aims to facilitate fundraising by indigenous communities that already have implemented Indigenous Management Plans, as well as encourage the search for public resources to ensure compliance with the constitutional duties of the Brazilian State to indigenous peoples. It also launches the document “Possibilities of funding sources”, with the objective of alerting to the importance of global and national commitment to the territorial management of indigenous lands.

Illustrated Guide to Inflation, Monetary Policy and Human Rights

What is Monetary Policy and what does it have to do with human rights? What is the role of the Central Bank in our lives? Are there no better solutions for controlling inflation than raising interest rates? The answers to these and other questions, about the impact of economic measures on the lives of Brazilians, can be found in the pages of the “Illustrated Guide to Inflation, Monetary Policy and Human Rights”.

This didactic booklet, aimed at the general public, was written by Inesc’s policy advisor Livi Gerbase and by economist Pedro Rossi, a professor at Unicamp’s Institute of Economics. The material also features illustrations by the collective A Gazetinha.

Fossil Fuels Subsidies in Brazil: know, assess and reform (5th edition)

The gradual departure from fossil fuel use toward energy transition is key for facing the climate crisis. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change – IPCC’s sixth report has highlighted how pressing it is to move toward ambitious emission cuts in the short term in order to have a chance to limit the rise in global temperatures to 1.5 °C by the end of the 21st century: the world needs to reduce by 43% its emissions from coal, oil and natural gas burning by 2030, compared to 2019. However, moving in the opposite direction to this urgent matter, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development – OECD and the International Energy Agency – IEA, incentives to fossil fuels around the world almost doubles in 2021, reaching 697.2 billion dollars, a 92.4% increase compared to 2020.

In this context, we release the fifth edition of the study “Subsidies to fossil fuels: know, assess and reform”, with data for the year 2021. Despite having a relatively clean energy and electricity matrix, Brazil has a strong structure of subsidies to fossil fuels, which encourages both production and consumption of oil, natural gas and mineral coal in the country.

Access to Medicines Thematic Budget (OTMED 2021)

The OTMED analyzes pharmaceutical assistance expenses incurred by the federal government. In 2021, this expenditure grew 33% when compared to the previous year. This increase is probably the purchase of Covid-19
vaccines. Despite the worsening of the pandemic, when we analyze the total health budget, whether considering the health function or the budget of the Ministry of Health, we see that the volume of resources invested in 2021 was similar to that of 2020.

Brazil’s Energy Matrix and the Paris Agreement

In 2016, Brazil submitted its Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) to the Paris Agreement. The NDCs state the targets for reduction of gas emissions responsible for intensifying the greenhouse effect. The targets are compulsory and must progress at each NDC submitted.

This study analyzes the NDCs drafted by the Brazilian government with regards to the energy sector, which counts on sectoral planning, plans, policy instruments and regulation, including transparency mechanisms.

The goal is to present society with a clear view of Brazil’s efforts and its level of compliance with the Paris Agreement targets. The report produced is part of the “Tracing the link between Climate Justice Action & the NDCs” – CIDSE Energy-NDC Task Force, Climate and Energy project 2021-2022” initiative, conducted by Fastenaktion, in partnership with the Institute for Socioeconomic Studies – INESC, which assesses the Brazilian case.

Anti-Indigenous Foundation: A Portrait of FUNAI Under the Bolsonaro Administration

In the face of the shocking disappearance of a former Funai employee and a British journalist in the Amazon ten days ago, a report released by INESC and the association that represents FUNAI’s civil servants and indigenists (INA) lists illegalities in the policy of (non-) demarcation of indigenous territories, cutting resources, militarization and oppression within the agency.

The state of the art of monetary policy in Brazil

The purpose of this report is to present and discuss the state of the art in the debate on monetary policy in Brazil. However, from a practical and methodological point of view, monetary policy is inserted in a broader context: since 1999, an economic policy regime called the “macroeconomic tripod” has been in force in Brazil, which consists of the simultaneous adoption of three policies: the primary surplus target regime (fiscal policy); the floating exchange rate regime (exchange policy); and the inflation targeting regime (monetary policy). Thus, the discussion of monetary policy should not be seen separately from other economic policies, as the full understanding of the role and limits of monetary policy requires the contribution of the entire macroeconomic regime in which it is inserted.

The report highlights the need to adopt a new monetary policy in Brazil. Monetary policy should not have as its sole objective the fight against inflation, just as the fight against inflation should not depend only on monetary policy. Controlling the inflationary process must never be neglected, especially when it directly affects the income of the working class and groups in economic and social vulnerability. An inflationary policy, however, must not rely solely on monetary policy as the only instrument. Finally, monetary policy should be oriented towards creating jobs, generating and distributing income, and guaranteeing rights.

The report is divided into four sections in addition to the introduction and final considerations. Section 2 discusses what the “macroeconomic tripod” is, focusing on theoretical aspects and the Brazilian macroeconomic model. Section 3 discusses alternative macroeconomic views and criticisms of the “macroeconomic tripod”, focusing on three views: new developmentalism, social developmentalism, and functional finance. Section 4 discusses the history of monetary policy from 1999 to the present day. Finally, section 5 analyzes some current debates on Brazilian monetary policy.

How much does it cost to make a PGTA happen?

Indigenous Management Plans are a tool derived from the social mobilization of Brazilian indigenous communities, organizations and their partners. Elaborated in collective and unique processes by each of the peoples, the PGTA have also become the main instrument for implementing the National Policy for Territorial and Environmental Management of Indigenous Lands (PNGATI), established in 2012 by the Decree no. 7,747/2012.

Despite the recognized power of this instrument – whose positive impacts far exceed the limits of indigenous communities, being key in the fight against climate change – the PGTA and PNGATI have suffered from severe and successive lack of public funding. The combination of austerity policies, such as Constitutional Amendment EC955, with the anti-indigenous and anti-environmentalist shift taken by the executive branch, have ended the meager public funding for carrying out the PNGATI, excluding any mention of PGTA at the current multi-year government plan.

To face this situation and reinforce territorially-based solutions to tackle climate change, Inesc launches the “PGTA cost estimation methodology”, which aims to facilitate the fundraising by indigenous communities for the PGTA, as well as encourage the struggle for public resources to guarantee the fulfillment of the Brazilian State’s constitutional duties towards indigenous peoples. We also launch the document “ Funding possibilities for Territorial and Environmental Management Plans for Indigenous Lands (PGTA)”, with the aim of raising awareness of the importance of global and national commitment to the territorial management of indigenous lands.

Fossil fuels subsidies in Brasil (2020): know, assess and reform

Brazil has established itself among the ten major producers of fossil fuels in the world, and its relevance in the petroleum geopolitics is undeniable, just as, directly and indirectly, in the global emissions by fossil sources.

In a direct way, due to the fact that emissions by burning fossil fuels represent 19% of emissions in the country. In an indirect fashion, because the fossil fuels distributed by Brazil to the world via exportations constitute energy sources for the most diverse sectors and are a part of global emissions. The scenario has already been mapped by an Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) report, which should “sound like a death sentence to fossil fuels before they destroy the planet”.

Incentives and subsidies given for fossil fuels are intrinsically linked to countries, industries, and investors’ global resistance to restrict the growth of production and emissions, which has delayed the unavoidable energetic transition.

Following up on the monitoring of incentives and subsidies given to fossil fuels in Brazil, the Institute of Socioeconomic Studies (Inesc) launched the fourth edition of the study “Know, Assess and Reform”. In 2020, $24.05 billions were given in incentives and subsidies to fossil fuels, which represents 2% of the country’s GDP for the year. These figures are divided into categories (direct expenditures, indirect expenditures, and other waivers) and by modalities (consumption and production). Brazil has established itself among the ten major producers of fossil fuels in the world, and its relevance in the petroleum geopolitics is undeniable, just as, directly and indirectly, in the global emissions by fossil sources.

Access to Medicines Thematic Budget 2020

Since 2015, the Institute for Socioeconomic Studies (Inesc) has prepared the  Access to Medicines Thematic Budget (OTMED), whose objective is to analyze the allocation of federal resources in promoting access to medicines in Brazil.

This edition shows a small reduction in federal government spending on drug purchases in a scenario of a coronavirus pandemic. According to the study, in 2019, spending on pharmaceutical assistance amounted to 14.6% of the total. In 2020, this percentage dropped to 11.5%.  Access the infographic, which also shows the failures committed by the federal government in confronting Covid-19.

Training Course in Innovation and Access to Medicines for Health Counselors

We have systematized the experience of the Training Course in Innovation and Access to Medicines for Health Counselors in this report with the objective of collaborating in the construction of possibilities for carrying out training processes in virtual environments. Thus, we share here not only an activity report but the entire process, from planning to completion.

Held by the Institute for Socioeconomic Studies (Inesc), the course was partnered with the National Health Council (CNS) and the Popular Education and Assistance Center (CEAP). The course lasted three months and was held from December 2020 to February 2021, in a totally virtual format. But planning and completion activities extended beyond that, starting in June 2020 and ending in March 2021.

Access to Medicines – Thematic Budget 2019

Since 2015, the Institute for Socioeconomic Studies (Inesc) has prepared the Thematic Budget for Access to Medicines (OTMED), whose objective is to analyze the allocation of federal resources to promote access to medicines in Brazil. This latest edition of the series of publications shows that, in 2019, federal spending on medicines was R$ 19.8 billion. The growth of almost 10% compared to 2018 follows an increasing trend compared to previous years and more than doubled when compared to 2008, the year the series started.

Thematic budget for science, technology and innovation in medicines (OTMED – ST&I)

This technical note brings the first version of the Thematic Budget for Science, Technology and Innovation in Medicines (OTMED ST&I), which aims to investigate federal government spending in this area. This is a new methodology, which is yet to mature, but which aims to contribute data on this strategic public spending – especially in the context of Covid-19 – and essential to guarantee the right to health and access to medicines.

Ferrogrão, the Brazilian Grain Railway

The EF-170 or Ferrogrão is a “greenfield” railway project connecting the 933km that separate the towns of Sinop (Mato Grosso state) and Itaituba (Pará state).

Investments of International Financial Institutions (IFIs) in Brazil were not focused on combating COVID-19 in 2020, report says

Since the beginning of this pandemic, several International Financial Institutions (IFIs) have committed to contribute to the global fight against COVID-19. According to statements from the IFIs themselves, investments in the year 2020 were supposed to direct aid and other support to those most vulnerable and impacted by the pandemic.

However, the study “Investments of International Financial Institutions in Brazil in 2020: Was there support to combat the COVID-19 pandemic?” shows that the projects of these institutions, for the most part, did not include direct transfer of income to people that are facing hunger, the buying of medicines, or the support for hospitals and ICUs.

“Not even 20% of the projects financed by these institutions mention COVID. And it is not because they mention it that they are really directed towards the theme”, points out Alexandre Andrade Sampaio, Program and Projects Coordinator of the International Accountability Project for Latin American and the Caribbean and co-author of the study. This is the case of the project called RSE COVID Jalles, of the International Finance Corporation (IFC), which allocated US$ 20 million to a company in the sugar and ethanol agribusiness as a response to COVID-19, without detailing the relationship of this resource with the emergency fight against the virus.

Furthermore, the research reveals that the investment projects did not meet the minimum necessary to ensure that their implementation does not worsen the social and environmental situation in the country. “We are showing that many of the investments that have come to Brazil have no safeguards, no policy to reduce impacts,” explains Livi Gerbase, political advisor of the Institute for Socioeconomic Studies (Inesc) and co-author of the study.

The research, which was conducted by Inesc in partnership with the Maíra Institute and the International Accountability Project, uses an innovative methodology. It uses the Early Warning System, which monitors and systematizes projects of development finance institutions, with the objective of previously informing communities that may be impacted by these projects. The three organizations analyzed an amount of U$13.5 billion allocated to 123 IFI projects between March and November 2020.

The IFIs’ investments in 2020 – of the 123 projects analyzed, only 24 (19.5%) focused on combating COVID-19. Of these, only two projects (US$2 billion), were of direct transfer to people most affected by the pandemic.

The three sectors most favored by the IFIs were regulation and governance, finance, and infrastructure, to the detriment of priority areas in the fight against the pandemic, such as water and sanitation, education, and health. This means that these institutions were concerned, as in previous years, with preparing the ground for the private sector to have the necessary return on their investments.

“Especially at this time of pandemic, public banks must have as a priority the fight against the pandemic and allocate their resources to areas of emergency need: health, education, aid for people most in need. They said they were going to do this, but when we look at the main investments that came to Brazil in 2020, we see that this strategy of investing in infrastructure, reforms and modernization of the state to attract the private sector was maintained,” comments Livi Gerbase.

The green reconstruction

The discourse of green recovery has been guided by the banks themselves in their proposals to fight the pandemic, through the discourse of “Building Back Better”, which means to rebuild in a better way than before. In this context, the energy and climate agendas should be central to the choice of investments, in order to help the population in the current health crisis.

Contradictorily, despite the greater number of projects classified as clean by the IFIs, when compared only to those that produce energy, non-renewable energies had more space than renewable ones, points out the research published by Inesc. Only 3 of the 12 projects are related to renewable energy production. Besides, “in these projects it is not possible to see which clean energies are actually being invested in”, laments Livi Gerbase.

The self-definition “clean energy” is also problematic, warns the study’s authors. Of the 12 projects undertaken in 2020 and related to the energy sector, 10 are classified by their respective banks as clean energy. However, of these clean projects, 7 are related to electricity distribution, reduction of electricity consumption, and greenhouse gas emissions. Projects of this type are not directly related to energy production or to confronting the pandemic, although they may have positive environmental impacts.

Lack of information about the socio-environmental impacts of the projects 

Although it is not possible to evaluate the execution of the 123 projects analyzed in the study, since most of them were still in the final negotiation phase at the time of the analysis, it is notable that less than half (49.6%) contain the socio-environmental impact risk classification. The classification of the project according to its possible impacts can be understood as an indication of the banks’ commitment to comply with the safeguards, that is, with mitigation and control measures for the projects’ socio-environmental impacts.

Some institutions, such as Corporación Andina de Fomento and the European Investment Bank, have no projects with impact risk assessment. “It is laughable the percentage that we have today of access to information about something that basic. I’m not talking about project details, I’m talking about risk categorization to know if the project can have an impact in terms of human and environmental rights,” denounces Alexandre Andrade Sampaio.

The study also analyzes two cases in which populations affected by international investments – in projects carried out prior to 2020 – did not have the safeguards respected: the Quilombola Community of Araripe, affected by the construction of a wind farm in northeastern Brazil, and the Association of Favelas of São José dos Campos.

“Without the presentation of risk analyses, it becomes unfeasible to present safeguards and, consequently, we would have no way to protect community rights and the communities would be more vulnerable. These errors, already denounced by communities in the past, and already taken to the banks’ boards of directors, are still happening today. In other words, very little has been done with the complaints made by the communities and their voices continue to be silenced”, explains Daniel Lopes Faggiano, Director of the Maíra e Institute and co-author of the research.

What can still be done?

The study published by Inesc recommends that the IFIs review their strategy for Brazil and, in fact, prioritize the needs of the Brazilian population, especially the sectors most affected by the economic, health, social, and environmental crises – which tend to worsen in 2021.

“The pandemic is not over; the banks will continue to make investments and there is still time to do better. We want the banks to have a more transparent policy that shows that in fact they are helping what we need most, fighting hunger and death in Brazil and guaranteeing human rights. We want to be sure that they are not bringing more problems to the people. That is why we emphasize the need to listen to the communities affected by the projects”, Livi Gerbase affirms.

Investments of International Financial Institutions in Brazil in 2020

Since the beginning of this pandemic, several International Financial Institutions (IFIs) have committed to contribute to the global fight against COVID-19. According to statements from the IFIs themselves, investments in the year 2020 were supposed to direct aid and other support to those most vulnerable and impacted by the pandemic.

However, the study “Investments of International Financial Institutions in Brazil in 2020: Was there support to combat the COVID-19 pandemic?” shows that the projects of these institutions, for the most part, did not include direct transfer of income to people that are facing hunger, the buying of medicines, or the support for hospitals and ICUs.

Three articles to understand the Brazilian socio-environmental and climate policy

Three articles published by the Institute for Socioeconomic Studies (Inesc) bring analysis on relevant aspects of socio-environmental and climate policy in Brazil. The monitoring took place between 2019 and 2020 and gave rise to the series: “Monitoring the Brazilian NDC* under the Bolsonaro government”.  

Access each of the articles below.

*Nationally determined contributions made under the Paris Climate Agreement (2015)

Pilot Program for REDD+ Payment for Results: benefiting those who preserve the forest?

By Alessandra Cardoso

Redd+ Results-based Payments Pilot Program: benefiting those who preserve the forest?

The first article analyzes the Pilot Program for REDD+ Payment for Results, a pioneer experience in raising funds from international cooperation in the scope of compensation programs for reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation, the so-called REDD+. 

This policy brief warns about the reformulation of the pilot program sent to the Green Climate Fund under the Bolsonaro government. In this reformulation, the purposes, scope and beneficiaries of the program were altered, promoting a change in the nature of the program from public policy to market incentive. The result is the redirection of internationally uncertified carbon credits for domestic markets.

Logistics infrastructure, agribusiness and climate

By Tatiana Oliveira

The second article analyzes the resumption of a project for the occupation and development of the Brazilian Amazon, with agribusiness and logistics infrastructure as two of its pillars. This policy brief relates the installation of a multimodal logistics complex in the district of Miritituba, in the state of Pará, to the recent processes of deforestation, fires and land grabbing, in one of the least anthropized regions of the Brazilian Amazon. 

Environmental degradation and attack of the ways of life of native peoples, traditional and peasant communities are consequences of this model of economic exploitation. This scenario contributes to the consolidation of Pará as the subnational unit with the highest level of greenhouse gas emissions derived from changes in land use and the allocation of areas for cattle ranching and agriculture in the country. 

Electricity and energy expansion: advances, risks and limitations of the proposed trajectories

By Pedro Bara Neto

The third publication brings an analysis between energy adaptation plans and the fulfillment of climate targets voluntarily adopted by Brazil under the Paris Agreement (2015). Taking the Ten Year Expansion Plan for Energy (PDE 2030) and the National Energy Plan (PNE 2050) as a basis, the advances, risks and limitations of the proposed trajectories for electric and energy expansion are addressed. 

The text highlights the government’s lack of articulation to implement long-term plans for the improvement of the national matrix, as well as the efforts in the legislative scope to attack the environmental licensing rules in force, which is fundamental to guarantee the protection of territorial rights in areas of exploration of renewable, non-fossil sources. 

This policy brief also refers the compensation of the shrinking use of oil in the energy matrix by natural gas, and of sugar cane by wind and solar energy, soybeans biodiesel, and lye. A very sensitive point identified is the introduction of soy as a raw material for the manufacture of biofuels, which lights up a warning from the socio-environmental and climatic point of view.

Sign up and
stay tunned
for updates!