Brazil and Germany can look back on over 50 years of cooperation. Today, around 120 experts are working for GIZ throughout the country, including seconded staff, national personnel, development workers and CIM experts.  

Brazil is the world’s seventh-largest economy and, with 20 per cent of the world's animal and plant species, the most species-rich country in the world. Its tropical rainforests are a large storehouse of greenhouse gases as well as being a biological treasure trove. A pioneer of carbon-neutral energy production in Latin America, Brazil has in the past favoured large-scale hydropower plants, but in many cases these have had adverse side-effects on the environment. Biomass, solar power, wind power and small-scale hydropower plants are environmentally friendly alternatives. Their vast potential has barely been touched.

Brazil has established itself as a major political and economic player on the world stage. The country is committed to actions to mitigate climate change and protect biodiversity, challenges which Germany too is committed to overcoming. GIZ’s involvement has become part of the strategic partnership between Germany and Brazil in cooperation for sustainable development.

GIZ’s main commissioning parties are the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB). The projects and programmes focus on the conservation and sustainable management of tropical forests, and on renewable energy and energy efficiency.

In this context, GIZ and its commissioning parties favour innovative forms of cooperation, in recognition of Brazil’s special importance. Development partnerships with the private sector are a key element of the modern profile of German-Brazilian cooperation for sustainable development. A programme designed to foster Brazilian-German research partnerships is driving innovation by acting as a matchmaker between universities and research institutions and partners from the spheres of politics, business and civil society.

Under triangular cooperation, GIZ and its Brazilian partners are implementing projects and programmes in other Latin American countries and Africa. A major regional programme of BMZ and the Government of the Netherlands is advising the General Secretariat of the Amazon Pact and is based in Brazil.

2016 was the year in which the Olympics will be held in Rio de Janeiro – an exciting opportunity to present the potential of German-Brazilian cooperation for sustainable development to a worldwide audience.

Projects and Programmes

Protection and sustainable use of tropical forests (Biodiversity and climate)

Brazil’s tropical forests are of immense importance for the conservation of biodiversity and the global climate. The country’s economic development depends on the services provided by nature and ecosystems, such as supplying clean drinking water and alimentation and purified air, particularly in the major cities. Brazil’s tropical forests also provide living and cultural space for traditional and indigenous population groups. Despite numerous successes, Brazil’s ecosystems remain under extreme pressure. The Brazilian government has therefore set itself ambitious goals to stop illegal deforestation, protect biodiversity and promote climate change adaptation and mitigation measures.

On behalf of the German government, GIZ has been working with Brazilian partners on the protection, sustainable use and the restoration of tropical forests since the early 1990s. BMZ and BMUB are currently funding the following projects in the three biomes – the Amazon, the Atlantic Forest and the savanna Cerrado:

Conserving biodiversity in protected areas: building local authority capacities in Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru (BMUB) Sustainable businesses and socio-biodiversity product chains in the Amazon region Building an inclusive green economy driven by socio-biodiversity product chains in the Amazon region (BMZ) Protection and integrated management of marine and coastal biodiversity – TerraMar (BMUB) Land and environmental management – Cadastro Ambiental Rural (CAR) Consolidation of the Brazilian system of conservation units (SNUC) – LifeWeb (BMUB) Biodiversity and climate change in the Mata Atlântica (BMUB) Prevention, control and monitoring of bushfires in the Cerrado (BMUB) Conserving biodiversity by integrating ecosystem services into public policy and business action Amazon forest conservation and climate fund (BMZ) Land tenure regularisation in the Amazon – Terra Legal (BMZ) Regional: Conservation of tropical forests in the Amazon region (BMZ) Expert exchange and secondment programme (BMZ) Promoting conservation areas and sustainable management of natural forests in the Amazon (BMZ) (completed) Protection and Sustainable Management of Indigenous Areas (BMZ) (completed) Regional Planning and Development (BMZ) (completed) Monitoring climate-relevant biodiversity in protected areas (BMUB) (completed)

Renewable energies and energy efficiency (Sustainable infrastructure)

Billions are being invested in Brazil in order to meet the demand for energy entailed by economic growth, while protecting the security of supplies and ensuring a pro-climate energy mix. Power supplies have traditionally come from large-scale hydro plants, which in many cases have imply harmful impacts on the environment. Brazil now wants broaden the sources by harnessing biomass, sun and wind to produce clean energy.

As Germany’s energy transition also focuses on renewable energies, it can provide expertise and technology. GIZ and its Brazilian partners are working together in the following projects to set up environmentally compatible alternatives for power generation, to increase energy efficiency in key sectors, and to introduce new technologies.

Energy efficiency in the water supply sector Renewable energies and energy efficiency (BMZ) (completed) Energy Efficiency in Urban Mobility (BMZ) German Climate Technology Initiative: concentrating solar power in Brazil (BMZ) German Climate Technology Initiative: Promoting climate-friendly biogas technology in Brazil (BMZ) 1,000 Roofs Project, Brazil – Promotion of Solar Thermal Water Heating (BMUB) Clean Development Mechanism / Programmes of Activities and New Market-based Mechanisms, Brazil (BMUB) (completed)

Other Projects

German-Brazilian cooperation for sustainable development is using innovative forms of collaboration consistent with Brazil’s global position. Together with Brazilian partner institutions, GIZ is implementing projects in third countries and shaping partnerships with academia and the private sector. Large events such as the Olympics in 2016 are generating momentum in Brazil and raising media interest in additional projects.

Strengthening of external financial control in the environmental field (BMZ) Implementing the national climate policy (BMUB) Innovation for sustainable development – new partnerships (NoPa) (BMZ) Trilateral Cooperation Brazil-Germany Sport for development (BMZ)