Fact Sheet: U.S.-Brazil Environmental Framework Dialogue

November 10, 2020

Brazil and the United States share both similar environmental challenges and a history working together productively. Our two nations will continue to collaborate on the protection and preservation of the environment while promoting the growth of our economies. The following are examples of our work, together:

Fire Prevention and Management

  • The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) is expanding its fire management cooperation work with Brazil’s Institute of Environment and Renewable Natural Resources (IBAMA), Chico Mendes Institute for Biodiversity Conservation (ICMBio), and other Brazilian partners in 2020, designing activities for fire prevention and control.
  • USAID is supporting a US$ 500,000 fire management program with the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) for the 2020 fire season to build the Brazilian Environment Ministry’s (MMA) capacity to identify fire origin, and manage, prevent, and communicate fire causes.
  • In 2019, USAID sent a team of fire operations specialists and investigators to Brazil during the Amazon wildfires to work with Brazil’s firefighting operations.
  • Since 2015, USFS technical experts have worked closely with ICMBio, USAID, and local partners to build fire prevention and management capacity, including training more than 500 indigenous leaders and community members.
  • Since 1992, USFS has supported exchanges with various Brazilian government agencies and organizations on technologies and practices for addressing wildfire. This month USFS and MMA plan to sign a Declaration of Intent to strengthen cooperation on forest fires.

Sustainable Forest Economies

  • USAID’s Partnership for the Conservation of Amazon Biodiversity (PCAB) is a US$ 10 million per year project to encourage sustainable economic growth, protect biodiversity, and support Brazil’s management of protected areas.
    • Invested more than US$1 million in 12 sustainable businesses through the Partnership Platform for the Amazon (PPA).
  • USFS work with PCAB has leveraged over R$2 million (Brazilian Real) in sustainable working capital; supported facilities for local processing of Brazil nuts, acai, and fish; strengthened 30 community-based organizations; improved capacity for 500 producers in business management and social organization.
  • USAID guaranteed financing for the Althelia Biodiversity Fund, which plans to raise $100 million in mostly private investment for economic activities to conserve biodiversity in the Amazon. The United States and Brazil have convened two Forums on Innovative Forest Investment, bringing together government, private sector, and civil society experts to identify options for innovative forest finance approaches and reducing barriers to investment to support healthy forests.

Protecting the Urban Environment

  • In January 2020, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and MMA signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to strengthen and coordinate efforts to effectively protect our nations’ environments, focusing on urban environmental sustainability.
  • The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, and EPA, working together with Brazil’s National Water Agency (ANA), have trained over 400 Brazilian scientists, engineers, and regulators in dozens of classes on dam safety and management, water flow monitoring, stream gauge network design, and data management.
  • USGS and EPA experts shared expertise with ANA partners to develop water quality assessments and learn best practices for water and wastewater management.
  • The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) has supported ANA partners in the field of flood risk management and provided training courses, workshops, technical documents, technical visits to the U.S., and “on-the-job training” within USACE. Future assistance to ANA may also focus on water security initiatives and dam safety.

Combatting Conservation Crimes

  • The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs (OES) and Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL), U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), and other partners provide law enforcement and investigation training for Brazilian counterparts to support their efforts to combat wildlife trafficking, illegal logging and other conservation crimes. In 2019, more than 100 Brazilian government officials were trained.
  • One example of bilateral efforts to combat wildlife trafficking culminated September 16, 2020 when the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service returned to Brazil 21 splash-backed poison frogs (or “sapos ponta-de-flecha” in Portuguese). The frogs had been trafficked into the United States in 2018 and were seized at the Miami International Airport. Wildlife inspectors asked experts at Disney’s Animal Kingdom to care for the frogs as they investigated and pursued forfeiture of the frogs under the U.S. Lacey Act.

Preventing and Responding to Environmental Disasters

  • In 2019, U.S. agencies through the U.S. National Response Team supported Brazil’s efforts to manage and determine the origin of the oil spill that appeared on Brazil’s Atlantic Coast with technical exchanges, satellite imagery analysis, and modeling.Following the 2019 collapse of a mining waste (tailings) dam in Brumadinho, Minas Gerais, U.S. Mining Safety and Health (MSHA) Assistant Secretary David Zatezalo visited Brazil to meet industry regulators and private sector leaders to share American perspectives on regulating mine health and safety.

Planning and Management of Public Lands for Conservation and Tourism

  • USAID, USFS and ICMBio have worked closely on planning and management tools to improve capacity for public use, sustainable tourism, and effective management plans for public lands and protected areas.

For further information, please contact OES-PA-DG@state.gov