MILAN – The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has honoured Brazil as a point of reference for the progress it has made in reducing deforestation and greenhouse gas emissions over the past 15 years. The report presented by the OECD assessed the progress countries have made towards sustainable development and growth, focusing particularly on conservation and the use of biodiversity. It evaluated the progress made within the country in terms of fulfilling commitments made under national and international environmental policies, aimed at improving performance and bolstering responsibility.
Pressure on the environment
The OECD report also highlights that the past decade of rapid urbanisation and economic growth has increased environmental pressures, with serious deficiencies and inadequate waste water treatment, as well as an increase in air pollution. More and more people have access to clean water services, but there are significant regional disparities: “Brazil has made tremendous progress in terms of its environmental performance, but rigorous environmental policy implementation remains critically important,” said OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurria. “Greening the economy can also bring huge social and economic opportunities, with green markets offering potential to boost GDP by up to 7%.”
Good news for the Amazon rainforest
Natural resources are key to Brazil’s development. Protected areas cover a large proportion of the country and the deforestation of the Amazon rainforest, 65% of which is located in Brazil, has fallen significantly, helping to slow down greenhouse gas emissions. However, economic and urban growth, along with the resulting expansion of infrastructure, has led to increased energy consumption, thereby increasing pressure on environmental resources. The quality of environmental services must be further improved and, in the current context, a greater integration of environmental goals into economic and sectoral policies would help Brazil to shift towards a more sustainable development process.
by editorial staff