OECD Environmental Performance Reviews

1990-0090 (online)
1990-0104 (print)
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OECD Environmental Performance Reviews provide independent assessments of countries’ progress towards their environmental policy objectives. Reviews promote peer learning, enhance government accountability, and provide targeted recommendations aimed at improving environmental performance, individually and collectively. They are supported by a broad range of economic and environmental data, and evidence-based analysis. Each cycle of Environmental Performance Reviews covers all OECD countries and selected partner economies.

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OECD Environmental Performance Reviews: Brazil 2015

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04 Nov 2015
9789264246706 (EPUB) ; 9789264240094 (PDF) ;9789264240063(print)

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This report is the first OECD review of Brazil’s environmental performance. It evaluates progress towards sustainable development and a green economy, with a focus on conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity and protected areas.The OECD Environmental Performance Review Programme provides independent assessments of country progress in achieving domestic and international environmental policy commitments. The reviews are conducted to improve environmental performance, promote peer learning and enhance accountability. They are supported by a broad range of economic and environmental data, and provide policy-relevant recommendations.Each review cycle covers all OECD countries and selected partner economies. The most recent reviews include: Spain (2015), Poland (2015), Sweden (2014).

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  • Preface

    Brazil has made considerable progress in aligning its economic growth and poverty reduction efforts with the advancement of environmental sustainability. Natural resources are essential to the country’s development: Brazil is the world’s fourth-largest agricultural producer and a major global player in mining and oil production, and hydropower generates most of its electricity. However, economic growth, urbanisation, agricultural expansion and infrastructure development have also meant increased energy consumption and environmental pressures. Brazil now needs to recover growth while continuing to eradicate poverty, reduce inequality and social exclusion, and ensure a sustainable use of environmental assets.

  • Foreword

    The principal aim of the OECD Environmental Performance Review programme is to help member and selected partner countries improve their individual and collective performance in environmental management by:

  • Reader's guide

    The following signs are used in figures and tables:

  • Abbreviations and acronyms
  • Basic Statistics of Brazil (2013 or latest available year)


  • Executive summary

    Brazil is the world’s fifth largest country and the most biodiverse. The world’s largest tropical rainforest, the Amazon, and 12% of global freshwater resources are in Brazil, together with vast reserves of fossil fuels and minerals. An energy mix that is largely based on the use of hydropower and biofuels helps keep the economy’s carbon intensity low. Vibrant growth and effective social policies lifted millions of people out of poverty over the 2000s. However, growth has decelerated since 2012 and income inequality remains high.

  • Assessment and recommendations

    The Assessment and Recommendations present the main findings of the Environmental Performance Review of Brazil and identify 53 recommendations to help Brazil make further progress towards its environmental policy objectives and international commitments. The OECD Working Party on Environmental Performance reviewed and approved the Assessment and Recommendations at its meeting on 17 June 2015.

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  • Expand / Collapse Hide / Show all Abstracts Progress towards sustainable development

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    • Key environmental trends

      This chapter provides a snapshot of key environmental trends in Brazil, highlighting some of the main achievements and remaining challenges on the path towards sustainable development and a greener economy. It reviews progress against national policy goals and international commitments, focusing on the period since 2000. Beginning with an overview of key socio-economic developments, the chapter presents Brazil’s progress in moving towards i) an energy-efficient and low-carbon economy; ii) resource efficiency in material consumption, waste management and agro-chemical use; and iii) sustainable management of the natural asset base, including forests, biodiversity and water resources.

    • Environmental governance and management

      Brazil has developed comprehensive and advanced environmental legislative framework and institutional arrangements. The country’s economic and social heterogeneity and decentralised federal system, however, generate significant implementation challenges. This chapter analyses the Brazilian environmental governance system, including horizontal and vertical co-ordination mechanisms and environment authorities’ budgets. It reviews the regulatory framework for air, water and waste management and for addressing climate change, as well as for environmental impact assessment and permitting. Enforcement and compliance assurance are discussed. The chapter also assesses progress in promoting public participation in decision making and access to environmental information, education and justice.

    • Greening the economy in the context of sustainable development

      In Brazil, economic growth is inseparable from sustainable use of natural resources, poverty alleviation and better access to essential services. This chapter presents Brazil’s progress in mainstreaming environmental concerns into economic and sectoral policies to green its economy on the path to sustainable development. It examines the use of tax policy to pursue environmental objectives and progress in removing subsidies and other incentives that can encourage environmentally harmful activities. The chapter analyses public and private investment in environment-related infrastructure such as that for water and sanitation, waste, clean energy and transport. It reviews the promotion of environmental technologies, goods and services as a source of economic growth and jobs. The role of Brazil as both a recipient and provider of environment-focused development co-operation is also discussed.

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  • Expand / Collapse Hide / Show all Abstracts Progress towards selected environmental objectives

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    • Conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity

      Brazil is the world’s most biodiverse country. This chapter reviews the current status and trends of Brazil’s biodiversity, as well as pressures stemming from a range of sources. It examines Brazil’s biodiversity policy and institutional framework, including its integrated strategy to combat deforestation. The chapter assesses progress in financing biodiversity conservation, mainstreaming biodiversity into sectoral policies and enhancing the knowledge base and economic valuation of Brazil’s biodiversity and ecosystems.

    • Protected areas

      Brazil has massively expanded its network of protected areas. This chapter presents progress in extending the terrestrial and marine areas under environmental protection. It examines achievements and challenges related to the management of protected areas, including in terms of financial sustainability. The chapter describes the role of protected areas in improving the quality of life of traditional communities. Finally, it discusses the opportunities of opening protected areas to the public for tourism, recreation and environmental education, and for sustainable forest management.

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