Brazil is going backwards. The gains achieved up to 2015 have been collapsing. From cutting basic programs against poverty to incentivizing highly polluted industries, such as agricultural pesticide, with tax breaks, the Federal Government has embarked in a denial crusade against the 2030 Agenda and the Paris Accord. All areas need special attention in Brazil at this moment, but the most urgent problems are the criminal deforestation and complete disregard for the indigenous populations.
As of july 2021, there has mostly been no progress but regression on past achievements and stagnation on programs that were under way. Currently all SDG areas are matters of great concern in Brazil. At the current state of affairs, the country will achieve no SDGs by 2030 unless there is a major change in government in 2022. All data and analysis will be published in the Brazilian civil society working group for the 2030 Agenda fifth Spotlight Report.
National planning, implementation and budget commitments
The government has trashed the past government's plan for implementation. No budget commitment has been agreed, much the opposite, several areas had their budgets slashed, including but not limited to violence against women, education, scientific research, health (even during the pandemic, reason for a current Congress special investigation)
More information here (in portuguese) and here
Progress since last VNR
Brazil only presented one VNR, in 2017. It was a condescending report, more a wish list than a real assessment without political fears. In the same year the GT Agenda2030 working group produced its first Spotlight Report using mostly the same official data the government used to produced the VNR, but the analysis was quite different in substance and content. As of June 28, 2019, the National Commission on the SDGs was revoked by presidential decree. The National Strategy for Sustainable Development, produced by the extinguished Ministry of Planning was thrashed, becoming an unpractical Federal Strategy for Sustainable Development that defies legal subnational processes. This has been documented in the fourth Spotlight Report 2020.
Key communities who face being left behind
All of the marginalized populations cited above are under attack with support from institutional prejudices, political will for oppression, and general encouragement against the human rights. The president mocks human rights. The government plan is passive genocide using the Covid-19 pandemic and active necropolitics through the police apparatus.
How have you engaged across communities?
Our network has reached all regions and populations in the country. We address the gender and racial issues through support for projects focused on them. The current main challenge is the overall attitude of the Federal Government and its politics of populist denial.
Overview of climate change
Brazil's government threatened to follow the U.S. and leave the Paris Accord. The Minister of Environment has done all he can to support deforestation and criminal land grabbing from the indigenous reservations. He has been denounced, along with the current President, in the International Criminal Court for crime against humanity and the environment. The incapacity of the current government has been rampantly exposed last year, when it didn't know how to handle a major oil spill that reached the coast of the northeast, as well as how it is doing a dreadful job on containing the Covid-19 pandemic, that is spreading out of control. As for people in general, they still think that protecting the environment would harm the economy. The level of environmental education in general is below poor.
Despite speeches, Brazil has distanced itself from any international agreement, including and specially the Paris Accord, without having the courage to withdraw from it like the US did for the country depends on foreign investments that are aligned to the agreement. (Plenty of information on international press about it).
Civil society priorities
The most important demand is the defense and expansion of civic space for monitoring and advocating for the 2030 Agenda implementation in the country. The second special demand is for a progressive tax reform as the basis for reducing economic inequality. Another is for the implementation of UBI, expanding the Bolsa Familia program. And, of course, return the investments necessary to public health, social assistance, and education so the country may invest in its people. And last but not least, increase the budget for environmental protection and enforcement of violations, including reparation policy.
Civil society engagement
Democracy has been hit hard by an out of the ordinary presidential impeachment, in 2016. The successor started by destroying many of the development policies in place, approved with Congress the Amendment 95 to impose a harsh austerity program that froze investment in social development, with the excuse that it would contain growing public debt. It cut the investment, but the debt kept growing for the resources were diverted to non essential areas that satisfied part of the infrastructure business community and political allies. The elected government, in 2018, is anti-civil society organizations, composed of people with no knowledge beyond their ideological faith on opinions with hints of eugenist morals and vulgarities.
Until the arrival of the current administration, civil society had an open dialogue with the government, including the participation in the National SDG Commission and contribution to the 2017 VNR. But the current government is anti-sustainable development and common sense for it focus on monomania and social austerity.
The 2030 Agenda has been translated. The GT Agenda 2030 has disseminated the content through specialized and general seminars, communication campaigns, advocacy work, and by creating a digital learning platform for NGO representatives. Some local governments are engaged. "Rede ODS Brasil", a network of local government personnel and academia, led by someone from Barcarena (Pará), has disseminated the Agenda throughout, as well as the engagement of the National Front of Mayors as a catalyst for publicizing the SDGs. CS has been steadily growing on awareness about the SDG and having it in their work. Besides GT Agenda 2030, there is another national network of NGOs, "Estratégia ODS", that also works with sub-national governments and private businesses.