Of the 196 countries of the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), Brazil was the only one to express disagreement with the document that contained the 2021 budget of the body, halting the progress of negotiations of the new UN biodiversity agreement, that would replace the previous, signed in 2011. According to the newspaper Folha de S. Paulo, the country’s representatives claim that the process should not proceed with online meetings – adopted due to the coronavirus pandemic – since not all countries would have technical conditions to participate. However, sources that accompany the negotiations say that the intention of Brazilian diplomacy is to bar the new agreement.
In an official statement on November 19, signed by CBD president and Egypt environment minister Yasmine Fouad, Brazil is cited nominally as an obstacle to the continuity of activities: “I expected to announce that the decision on the provisional budget for the year 2021 was adopted. However, due to a comment that was sent by the Brazilian government aiming at inserting footnotes in the decision projects, it was not possible to move forward. The comment was an objection to the adoption of these decisions by the respective bodies”.
On November 24, a manifesto endorsed by more than 100 environmentalists and entities asked for an immediate review of the Brazilian diplomatic stance. The document was sent to Vice President Hamilton Mourão, who is at the head of the Amazon Council and of the Amazon Fund, and to the Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Ernesto Araújo, and of Agriculture, Livestock and Supply, Tereza Cristina, as reported by the website Direito da Ciência. The text, which cites the potential damage to Brazilian trade relations if the blockade is sustained, points out that Brazilian diplomacy “does not demonstrate respect for its own commitment as a signatory to the Convention, nor does it demonstrate respect for the duties, principles and objectives established in its own Federal Constitution.”