Diversity is the solution for the Amazon’s future

The 11th day of SPSAS Amazonia began with a lecture by Ane Alencar, IPAM researcher and part of the School’s coordination. The researcher highlighted the central role of land dispute and speculative deforestation as the drivers of Amazon devastation at the moment.

“Cattle ranching has taken over as the main economic activity in place of activities that used to be directly linked to the forest and rivers”, emphasizes Ane Alencar, “it is important that we keep in mind that this ends up diminishing the diversity of ways in which people relate to the territory and that the solution for the future of the Amazon is diversity”. For this, it is necessary to find ways to highlight the potential of the Amazon’s diversity and address public policies assertively.

Another central point in Ane Alencar’s lecture was about Brazil’s role in the discussion about the climate issue in relation to the Amazon. The researcher presents alarming data: 40% of the natural environments burned in Brazil in the last 30 years belong to the region, and 13% of these burnings are forest fires, which should not exist. Again, a large part of this problem is related to changes in land use, especially for agricultural use.

Also on this day, the participants had the possibility to talk with Professor Luís Eugênio Mello, Fapesp’s Scientific Director. The main topic of discussion was the funding of research for the Amazon region and the establishment of researchers in the region.

For Mello, the Amazon + 10 Fund is an example of great success for research funding because it is based on cooperation among different funding agencies in the country. The initiative brought together 10 State Research Support Foundations around the development of science, technology and innovation in the Legal Amazon. “This School was proposed in the scope of the Amazon Initiative, bringing together researchers from Brazil and other Amazon countries,” points out Mello, “and it also has this perspective of provoking the possibility of settling researchers such as the participants of this School in the Amazon region.

Finally, Mello highlights that Fapesp is open to hear proposals resulting from the work done at the School, preferably those that are multi-institutional and multinational. “It is essential that we have good proposals. The idea is that you can articulate yourselves and then get in touch with the Scientific Directory of Fapesp to start a discussion. And, from this discussion, Fapesp can carry these demands to seek co-funding with the development institutions of other countries.

About the São Paulo School of Advanced Science Sustainable and Inclusive AMAZONIA

The São Paulo School of Advanced Science Sustainable and Inclusive AMAZONIA was born focused on the Amazon from a transdisciplinary point of view. During two weeks, questions about the Amazon territory, its inhabitants, and the protagonists of biodiversity and climate change mitigation will be addressed. “We set up the school to provide a vision of the different dimensions of the Amazon, but we know that there are still gaps, such as food security and health”, explains Carlos Joly, the school’s coordinator.

The participants will organize themselves into groups and develop themes that have affinity with each other. “The proposal is to co-construct themes that will be treated at the school and that are of interest to the participants,” explains Joly. At the end, the written material will be transformed into an e-book.