Ming the Mechanic:
Visioning Brazil 2020

The NewsLog of Flemming Funch
 Visioning Brazil 20202003-12-17 20:39
picture by Flemming Funch

Hazel Henderson writes good news about Brazil taking a lead in a group of 22 developing nations that no longer are quite as willing to put up with a World Trade Organization or an International Monetary Fund or a World Bank that are in the pockets of the richest countries and corporations. Rather they're looking for alternative paths toward sustainable economies. Recently a group of Brazilian leaders in business and civil society worked on developing long-term visions and shared goals for sustainable development. They came up with this vision, looking back from the year 2020:
We are a nation of 210 million people reigned by peace and wide access to work. In the last 16 years we have presented significant improvements in income distribution, the rich and poor gap, in balanced geographical occupation and access to education, culture and health.

We are a nation without misery in which education is a priority. A country in which there is a high life expectancy, oriented by sustainable development. We are a country which is able to develop widely accessible technologies. We are a nation with more safety, more justice and with an increasing feeling of social responsibility.

Today, our human relations are based on respect of the elderly and children; we have more time with our families, we are guided by confidence and ethics in our commitments. Equal opportunities are provided and we are recognized in the world by our culture of peace, as a country that has taken a leadership role in the Latin American continent, due to solidarity, full and sovereign international integration.

We are the biggest world production of food, based on a sustainable agriculture that conciliates different forms of production organization. There are no land conflicts. 20 to 30 million people live in "rural towns" producing with more added value.

We utilize our environment assets with preserving actions. Alternative energies are applied. Our cities are clean, non polliuted, with more green spaces accessble to the whole population. Science & Technology research efforts interrelate the private and the public sectors. Small businesses have assured access to the most advanced technologies.

Our participatory and collaborative culture has favored innovation and competitiviness of our products, as well as a Brasilian management style. Every Brasilian is a citizen. The public interest prevails over private interests. The State is controlled by society. Political representation is legitimate and the public administration is guided by morality and effectiveness.

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17 Dec 2003 @ 21:52 by bushman : Been to,
fotolog.net lately? If you havent, you missed the Brazilian invasion. :}  

18 Dec 2003 @ 00:33 by Jon @ : Great Vision
Make me want to move from North America to there.  

18 Dec 2003 @ 01:20 by vibrani : Brazil
still has horrendous problems with orphans living on the streets, drugs, crime, and disease. When the government works a little harder to resolve these issues, then Brazil will really bloom.  

18 Dec 2003 @ 02:30 by jstarrs : Elle, I believe that...
...these are symptoms from a long history of oppressive governments and the cause for the wish to change things for the better, of the present structure.  

18 Dec 2003 @ 04:44 by weltgeist @ : and the rainforest
now how about the ongoing sell-off of the rainforest, the pillages against tribals etc., the sudden loss of ground water in northeast brazil because the world bank is planting asparagus for europe, and the (as an artical said world's largest) genetic soy plantations?
acknowledging that their recent annoucement of cutting off half the brazilian amazon might serve to attract global funding, there is still QUITE a few things going wrong...  

18 Dec 2003 @ 05:31 by istvan : If Mings poost is true,
Brazil is well on the way to a userfriendly society. It may even be a door toward a form of new civilisation, others can follow. We need to follow these social movements and of course support them. The support could be moving there.
I belive there will be in the future places on Earth where people can move to and participate in experimental forms of societal laboratories, sort of speak.
I would certainly like to participate in these movements as i have already done in the past in different communal lifestiles.
I am a bit worried though, if Brazil achives creating a new civilisation what will be for us to do in this network? Well there is always good chatting of course.  

18 Dec 2003 @ 09:48 by ming : Brazil
There are lots of things wrong in Brazil, from what I understand. But also lots of potential, lots of resources, and a good spirit. So it wouldn't be too surprising if major positive change for the world comes from there.  

18 Dec 2003 @ 19:34 by Jon @ : Brazil, and Vision
Yes, there are things wrong there...and, it is a longish-term vision. It would be interesting to know if the leaders cited are people who truly have clout.

Interesting if it turns out to be the case that - exactly because of the awfulness of some of their problems, compounded by such big cities as Rio and SP, juxtaposed against the magnificence known as the Amazon basin and polarities between a modern culture and tribal Indians - the issues have become so pressing that a Vision is necessary that may show the way for other countries/societies.

Complacency and comfort are enemies of real change.  

19 Dec 2003 @ 04:27 by eric @ : brazil development and the environment
I share the positive feeling for brazil.
Yet, there have been some surprising setbacks that call for an "expert on brazil" :-) to share his / her views with us, so we do not fall prey to another illusion.
... the promising government in Porto Allegre that started large scale and succesful "Paticipatory Budgeting" is out of power, as I heard.

Also, the Amazon situation still seems to be massively out of control,
as an interesting newsletter from FORESTS.ORG just reveals. As it came in just now, I am attaching some parts:

A new variety of soybean developed by Brazilian scientists to
flourish in this punishing equatorial climate is good for
farmers, too, putting South America's biggest country on the
verge of supplanting the United States as the world's leading
But, to the horror of environmental activists, soybeans are
claiming increasingly bigger swaths of rainforest to make way for
plantations, adding to the inroads by ranching. The Amazon lost
some 10,000 square miles (25,476 square kilometers) of forest
cover last year alone - 40 percent more than the year before.
"After cattle ranching, soybeans are the main driver of Amazon
destruction," said Roberto Smeraldi of Friends of the Earth
"Today, we have lots of areas being cut down by small holders
with the idea of selling them to soybean farmers and in other
areas pasture is being converted to soy."
With soybean prices at a five-year high, thanks to a smaller than
expected crop this year in the United States, Brazilian farmers
are rushing into the jungle to take advantage of cheap land.
A bag of soybeans sells for about 35 reals (US$11.85), allowing a
good profit because soybeans cost 17.6 reals-22 reals (US$6-
US$7.50) to produce, said Anderson Galvao Gomes, director of the
Celeres agricultural consulting firm.
"The price would have to drop considerably for the expansion to
stop," he said.
The front line of the soybean advance is in Querencia, a
municipality of nearly 6,800 square miles (17,600 square
kilometers) that includes the Xingu National Park, a near-
pristine slice of rainforest where 14 Indian tribes live in much
the way they have for thousands of years.
Indians say the soybean boom is beginning to change all that.
"The soy is arriving very fast. Every time I leave the
reservation I don't recognize anything anymore because the forest
keeps disappearing," said Ionaluka, a director of the Xingu
Indian Land Association.
The area around Xingu lost about 500 square miles (1,280 square
kilometers) of forest last year.
"Across the state, deforestation increased by 30 percent between
2001 and 2002. This year, I don't know about the whole state, but
in the region of Querencia I believe the numbers for
deforestation will certainly grow," said Rodrigo Justus Brito,
director of forest resources for the state environmental agency.
Indians fear deforestation will dry up the rivers that run
through the Xingu reservation and the chemicals used to keep
lizards and termites off crops will poison their fish. Satellite
photos reveal that the southern half of the 10,800-square-mile
(27,648-square-kilometer) reservation is almost completely
surrounded by farm fields.
Environmentalists fear that is a picture of the Amazon's future.
Soybean producers are lobbying to pave roads through the jungle
and Cargill recently opened a major port in the Amazon River city
of Santarem.
Brazil's federal environment minister, Marina Silva, says soybean
production doesn't have to spell the end of the rainforest.
"In Mato Grosso alone there are 12 million acres (4.8 million
hectares) of abandoned land," Silva said. "You just make an
effort to intensively use those areas that are already devastated
and avoid advancing into areas that still have forest cover."
Environmentalists say that even with such farmland available,
uncleared forest is even cheaper, around 300 reals a hectare
(US$41 an acre), making illegal deforestation especially
"They say soy is planted only in degraded pasture, but we have
evidence that it's not that way," said Rosely Sanches, a
biologist working with the Institute for Society and the
Environment in Sao Paulo. "There is a search for land because the
price of land in soy-growing areas has gotten very expensive."
Title: Soybeans: the new threat to Brazilian rainforest
Source: Copyright 2003, Associated Press
Date: December 18, 2003
Byline: Michael Astor, Associated Press  

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