BRICS MEET IN GOA AND BRAZIL MISSES OPPORTUNITY TO PROPOSE INNOVATIVE IDEAS FOR COLLABORATION IN A NEW LANDSCAPE, THE ARCTIC
This article was written to BNCC by Sergio C. Trindade, who contributed to 2007 Nobel Peace Prize awarded to the IPCC, Former Assistant Secretary-Genearl of the UN for Science and Technology (1986 -91) and Global Consultant on Sustainable Business, based in New York.
The annual meeting of the BRIC countries begins this weekend in Goa, India. There, the street names are written in Portuguese, the result of a long lasting tie from the early 1500s, between Goa and Portugal, which ended in 1961. The meeting could have been an opportunity for Brazil to project a renewed emerging country image, emphasizing solidarity and a global stand, through pioneering initiatives, but unfortunately it will not be.
On 6-9 October this year in Reykjavik, Iceland, fourth annual Arctic Circle Assembly took place. In 2013 then Iceland’s President, Ólafur Grimsson, and American journalist Alice Rogoff launched the Arctic Circle Assembly.
In the first Arctic Circle Assembly in 2013, I made a plenary presentation on climate change and sustainable development of the Arctic. In the second meeting in 2014, I gathered a panel of experts from Canada, Finland, France, Russia and the OECD to discuss the metrics of sustainability in the Arctic. In the third Assembly in 2015, I organized a panel on Brazil and the sustainability of the Arctic, with the participation of Ambassador Flavio Macieira, Prof. Jeferson Simões (UFRGS), Prof. Carolina Freire (UFPr), and Ieda Gomes, an international consultant on energy, based in England.
In the fourth Arctic Circle Assembly, a week ago, we put together a panel on BRICS and the Arctic. Representatives from Russia and Brazil, and remotely from China (Yao Zhang, Center for Maritime and Polar Studies, Shanghai) and India (R.K. Pachauri, former head of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) participated. No one from South Africa attended. Prof. Carolina Freire, and lawyer and business consultant, member of the Board of the BNCC and Honorary Vice Consul for Brazil in Stavanger, Celma Hellebust, a Brazilian based in Norway, and I represented Brazil on our own individual capacity and at our expense.
The objective was to promote collaborative initiatives among the BRICS in the Arctic, in science, technology, trade and investment. Opportunities for this are coming up with the opening of the Arctic Ocean for longer throughout the year due to global warming and climate change. This provides for the development of navigation and trade via the northern Siberia coast (Northern passage), fishing, mining, oil and gas, and tourism. Consequently, opportunities for trade and investment have been created. But at the same time they pose risks to the economic, social and environmental sustainability of the Arctic, which requires especial attention, given the vulnerability of the region.
That is a pathway unexplored by Brazil, which would allow Brazil to play a new role consistent with her global power aspirations and promoter of sustainable development and peace among nations. But for this design to materialize and have an impact, it is necessary for Brazil to become an Observer member of the Arctic Council, as China and India are already! Brazil must move beyond her present domestic constraints and fly high toward her larger global role and great future and destiny among the leading nations on earth, as a champion of sustainable development.