I receive from ecologist Carolina Levis, postdoctoral researcher at UFSC (Federal University of Santa Catarina), the link to access an important article signed by her and her colleague Bernardo Flores, from Unicamp, in the scientific journal Nature Ecology & Evolution. It is a manifesto against the dismantling of Brazilian environmental policy promoted by the government of President Jair Bolsonaro. The duo and their colleagues managed to get the manifesto to be endorsed by an impressive list of 1,230 Brazilian scientists from the most varied institutions inside and outside Brazil.
The good news is that it is one of the most sensible, clear and data-based texts ever published on the issue. Didactically, Levis, Flores and company explain the importance of the services provided by Brazil's natural ecosystems:
– Climate and water cycle regulation;
– Carbon sequestration (increasingly important in a world that suffers from climate change caused by the burning of fossil fuels);
– Food, raw materials, genetic diversity for agriculture and inspiration for industry and biotechnology;
– Cultural and spiritual immaterial values.
While Bolsonarist politics sees these ecosystems only as a space to expand cultivation areas, the team correctly advocates:
– The intelligent use of already degraded areas to avoid new deforestation;
– Investment in a chain of biotechnological products created from research with Brazilian biodiversity;
– Valuing the knowledge of traditional populations (indigenous, riverside, quilombolas, etc.) for the sustainable use of these resources.
Unfortunately, it is almost certain that all this wisdom will find only deaf ears in the Plateau. Ignoring the complexities pointed out by scientists is the project of the Bolsonaro government. But the work has the great virtue of showing the seriousness of the current scenario to the academic community worldwide. External pressures may be more effective than internal pressures in the long run.