The cooperation agreement for the Amazon announced by the presidents of Brazil, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (PT) and France, Emmanuel Macron, during a visit to Belém (PA), signed this Thursday (28) at Palácio do Planalto in Brasília (DF) was the main victory of Brazilian and French diplomacy, during his visit, in the opinion of experts heard by the Brazil in fact.

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“President Macron can personally see that our commitment to the environment is not rhetorical. Last year, we reduced illegal deforestation in the Amazon by 50% and we are committed to eliminating it by 2030″, Lula spoke at Palácio do Planalto this Friday.”

The Brazilian president pointed out as symbols of renewal of this partnership between the countries the collaboration in new fields, with the financing of the ecological transition and the bioeconomy – which combines biology and natural resources with technology to create sustainable products and services -, set out in the agreement.

The French president highlighted in his speech the inclusion of French Guiana’s cooperation in the agreement, accompanied by a delegation of representatives from that territory present at the ceremony.

“We are clearly aware that France is the only country in Europe that has a border that is the longest for us, with Brazil, which is our presence in the Amazon. With the texts we signed, we intensified exchanges on both sides of the Oiapoque , we facilitate exchanges, we increase our common fight against all types of crime”, said Macron.


Cooperation between the French Development Agency and Brazilian public banks foresees up to 1 billion euros (R$5.4 billion) in public and private investments in bioeconomy in the Amazon over the next four years, aimed both at the forest in Brazilian territory and for the part that is in French Guiana, French territory.

With little production, French Guiana has been a consumer market for European products and, following the agreement, it could become a market for bioeconomy products produced in the Brazilian Amazon.

For political scientist and international analyst, Ana Prestes, Secretary of International Relations at PCdoB, the investments in the Amazon announced by France represent the main victory of Brazilian diplomacy during Macron’s visit. “Unlocking investments for the Amazon is very important for Brazil and French investment can open other doors, other moves that Brazil can make.”

The agreement, she highlights, also represents a diplomatic victory for France, with the inclusion of French Guiana in the cooperation agreement, an important step for the country that wants to occupy the position of Amazonian power in the European context. “This is certainly a victory for Macron’s diplomacy to achieve this in Brazil, having Brazil’s endorsement is vital for you to be able to legitimize yourself in this game, but I think it is quite difficult for France or French Guiana to be admitted to the ACTO.”

The Amazon Cooperation Treaty Organization (ACTO) is an international organization, made up of eight member countries from South America whose territory comprises the Amazon biome, being the only socio-environmental bloc of countries dedicated to the Amazon.

“What we are looking for as cooperators is also this, is to see how Guyana, which is a European territory and has several types of legislation, for example, to authorize deforestation in a coherent manner, a series of legislation that can also be useful “, points out René Poccard Chapuis, geographer researcher at Cirad – a French agricultural research center that maintains cooperation agreements with Embrapa in Brazil.

For the French researcher, the connection between French Guiana and the Brazilian Amazon is the main novelty of the agreement signed between the countries. “There was a first attempt with the [ex-presidente francês Nicolas] Sarkozy, but it remained an unfulfilled declaration of intent. Now it is, because there is a path outlined for financing the activities.”

Chapuis points out that Guyana can be a market for bioeconomy products in Amapá and assesses that President Lula also supports the recognition of Guyana as an Amazonian territory, through the strategic alliance with France in the Environment sector.

“He needs to build bridges with conventional powers, there is a convergence of interest in promoting environmental policies and in the Amazon. I think they understand each other about this and, for us, it creates a working environment [para a pesquisa] which is favorable.”

The last visit of a French president to Brazil took place in 2016 with the visit of François Hollande. From this perspective, Macron’s agenda in the country marks a resumption of rapprochement between the two countries, a relationship that was strained during Jair Bolsonro’s administration, especially in relation to the Amazon issue. “It ends up being a contrast with Bolsonaro’s government, it is much more important for Lula to show this contrast than for Macron”, analyzes Ana Prestes.

From a geopolitical perspective, it highlights the importance of Brazil maintaining close dialogue with a permanent member country of the UN Security Council. “Brazil defends a new international governance and, for this, it is important to have a closer relationship with the French, from the point of view of the clashes that are taking place today, with Milei in Argentina, it is very important that Brazil is related to the democratic governments.”

Editing: Rodrigo Durão Coelho


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