UNEP and Ministry of Environment Sign Agreement to Reinforce Environmental Action in Brazil

Photo-illustration: Unsplash (Laila Gebhard)

In a move to renew and increate collaboration on the propriety issues of climate change, nature and biodiversity loss, and waste and pollution, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change (MMA) of Brazil signed a Memorandum of Understanding this morning. The signing ceremony, featuring Minister Marina Silva, coincided with the inaugural official mission to Brazil by Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations and UNEP Executive Director, Inger Andersen.

This strategic agreement marks the 20th anniversary of the UNEP Office in Brazil strengthening collaboration with the Brazilian government in the environmental and sustainable development agenda. It heralds significant advancements in environmental policies and actions across Brazil, promising broad and enduring benefits for both society and the natural world.

Cooperation with the Brazilian government also reinforces the nexus between reducing social inequalities while guaranteeing a safe and healthy environmental for thriving livelihoods.

“We are pleased to renew our partnership, but we also want to take this opportunity to broaden the scope of our cooperation. We are in a painful reconstruction process in Rio Grande do Sul, which has already cost around USD 16 billion. The Pantanal is facing a severe drought, highlighting the urgent need for risk management plans, rather than just disaster management,” said Minister Marina Silva.

Inger Andersen, UNEP Executive Director, said: “The signing of this agreement with Brazil underscores our ongoing commitment to the environment and sustainable development in one of the world’s most biodiverse regions. We are pleased to continue our partnership with Brazil and turn our strategic plans into impactful actions to accelerate progress on the environmental challenges linked to climate change, nature and biodiversity loss and pollution and waste.”


The memorandum outlines UNEP’s support in four key areas: climate action, action for nature, action against chemicals and pollution, and strengthening environmental governance.

Climate Action: The collaboration will support the development of Brazil’s National Climate Plan, which includes formulating a National Mitigation Strategy and corresponding Sector Plans. It also emphasizes the integration of nature-based solutions in subnational climate action plans, governance strategies and instruments for coastal, marine and oceanic zones, and efforts to combat plastic pollution.

Photo-illustration: Pixabay (thiagolazarino)

Action for Nature: Notable initiatives include implementing the new Global Biodiversity Framework, developing the National Bioeconomy Strategy, and enhancing financing mechanisms for nature conservation. The agreement also supports the regulation of the National System of Conservation Units (SNUC) and promotes effective area-based conservation measures throughout Brazil.

Action Against Chemicals and Pollution: This segment of the memorandum facilitates cooperation in developing studies and projects in line with the Minamata Convention commitments, crafting a national circular economy strategy, and programs aimed at improving air quality and managing short-lived climate pollutants, such as methane and black carbon.

Strengthening Environmental Governance: The agreement includes collaborative efforts to bolster environmental governance, such as the support to Brazil’s G20 presidency with expert advice on environmental sustainability and climate issues. A pivotal element of this cooperation is the development of GEO Brazil, which will assess the nation’s environmental conditions, evaluate the effectiveness of current policies, and forecast future environmental trends.

This memorandum is a testament to the shared commitment of UNEP and the Brazilian government to forge a sustainable future through robust environmental stewardship.

Source: UNEP