Integrating mitigation and adaptation in climate and land use policies in Brazil: a policy document analysis

Produced as part of the Managing climate risks and uncertainties and strengthening climate services CCCEP research programme theme

This paper investigates climate policy integration and coherence in land use policies in Brazil. Unlike other policy analyses a key aim is to assess ‘internal policy coherence’ in the climate change domain, or the extent to which positive and negative interactions between mitigation and adaptation are taken into account in policy formulation. The paper is based on a systematic content analysis of major federal level climate change and land use policies. The results indicate a stronger focus on climate change mitigation compared to adaptation in all land uses. Integrated approaches that consider mutually supportive mitigation and adaptation actions are called for in key climate change policies, but so far such linkages remain largely unexplored in sectoral policies. While some progress in this regard occurred in the agricultural sector, this has not translated into actual policy actions that are of use to small-scale producers. In the forest domain the focus remains almost exclusively on climate change mitigation. Three main recommendations are drawn. First, more knowledge about locally specific climate change impacts, resilience, capacity and measures for climate change adaptation is needed in order to increase the opportunities to pursue mutually beneficial approaches to climate change mitigation, adaptation and development, in particular in the forestry sector. Second, policy makers need to address more explicitly potential trade-offs between mitigation and adaptation in both policy formulation and implementation. Third, policy action on how to achieve mutually beneficial outcomes and avoid trade-offs between mitigation and adaptation needs to be operationalised into concrete policy objectives within sectoral policies and into practices that apply not just to agriculture and livestock systems, but to forested landscapes as well.