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Bruno Pacheco – Cenarium Magazine

MANAUS – The Amazon is considered to have the greatest biodiversity on the planet, sheltering 20% of all species of fauna on Earth. For the researcher from the Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation (Embrapa) Edson Barcelos the region has the necessary raw material to expand the bio-economy in the country.

On the other hand, there is a large portion of companies around the world interested and willing to use the products of the Amazon forest, as well as institutions and universities in Brazil willing to join efforts in research in the region.

“For this to happen, it is necessary to have governmental direction and resources. There needs to be focus, pragmatism, that is, biodiversity only improves the lives of our people when it leaves the forest and reaches the hands of the consumer, and it has to guarantee that the forest is preserved”, he concluded.

“It is necessary to have governmental direction and it is necessary to have an input of resources” Edson Barcelos, researcher at Embrapa in Western Amazonia.

Advances

In Pará, Embrapa Amazônia Oriental researcher Joice Ferreira remembers that the bioeconomy has different visions and versions. For her, generally speaking, bioproducts, the use of renewable resources, and advanced science, such as robotics, cell culture, synthetic biology, and artificial intelligence are the future.

Joice is one of the coordinators of the Science Panel for the Amazon (SPA) Report, which intends to conduct an unprecedented assessment of the entire Amazon basin.

According to the researcher, it is necessary that institutions guarantee resources for the training of people and laboratories, in order to seek development in the sector, especially in the Amazon, where there is a lack of financial incentive and the most worrying challenges of working with the bioeconomy are deforestation and forest degradation.

“These are worrisome problems because they reduce the supply of raw materials, if we consider mainly those related to forests, which is our case. A very important issue is that if we are going to act in the bio-economy, in this issue of technology to increase technology, innovation, we need investment in science and technology”, she highlights.

According to the researcher, the North Region has the lowest investment rate in technology and science, and there are far fewer courses when compared to other regions, such as the Northeast. Still according to Joice, the Amazon suffers from the infrastructure when it comes to bioeconomy, with the lack of adequate transportation, precarious internet, among other situations.

“There are situations where we don’t even have potable water, where there is no transportation. We need to adapt all forms of transportation. These are many challenges that are important for our region. We need the forest preserved”, he stresses.

Normative

Joice Ferreira points out that the bioeconomy is more than a sector, it is a normative of sustainable production, and sustainability would be the central objective of the segment. “The bioeconomy preaches the replacement of fossil fuels, the conversion of biomass and other biological materials into energy instead of energy by fossil fuels. And just because of this, of course, it already has sustainability as a principle”, he says.

“It is very important that we emphasize the bioeconomy with this potential to promote forest biodiversity”, he reinforces. “Here in the Amazon, we emphasize this a lot in the chapter Science Panel, to take advantage of this vision to value the biodiversity of the forests, and it is very important to also value social biodiversity, that is, not only the biodiversity of the forests, but the local people, the ones we call the ‘guardians of the forest'”, he concludes.