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As a mega-diverse country in environmental terms, Brazil has huge areas covered by forests, which has turned it into a financial capital target. Biodiversity abundance and richness is causing capital to advance over different territories of the country, through processes of financialization of nature that aim to "give way to new titles within the financial market based on intangible assets", said Lucia Ortiz, Friends of the Earth International´s Economic Justice - Resisting Neoliberalism program coordinator.
According to the activist, two elements have been facilitating this advance. The first one is related to the "paradigm change of environmental protection laws in Brazil, highlighting the passing of the new Forestry Code in 2012". Secondly, key local governments (basically Amazon States) in Brazil have been carrying the flag of financialization of nature mechanisms for several years.
Among these changes that aim to "provide legal certainty to financialization of nature instruments", we can also find the national climate change law, which created a national carbon credit market giving power to the Sao Paulo Stock Exchange over the management of these carbon credits. The Forestry Code also created the Environmental Reserve Quotas system, a title that can be traded in the Rio de Janeiro Environmental Stock Exchange (BVRio).
In terms of the lobby of the local states themselves, Lucia highlighted the parallel activity held in the framework of the 20th Conference of the Parties on Climate Change in Lima, Peru, where Acre (Amazon State) signed an agreement with BVRio through which it grants the Stock Exchange the power to trade all carbon credits generated by forests of this state. Lucia also said that BVRio is negotiating both carbon credits and also the so-called environmental services, directly with municipal governments.
A national law on REDD+, and a draft law on the payment for environmental services are also under discussion. According to Ortiz, this debate is starting to slow down as a result of the pressure and criticism by civil society sectors and social movements.
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