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Larissa Rodrigues

Instituto Escolhas

Larissa holds a PhD and a master’s degree in Energy by the University of Sao Paulo (USP) and a bachelor’s in International Relations by Faculdades Belas Artes. She acted as the coordinator of Research and Investigations at Greenpeace Brazil, as well as a Climate and Energy campaigner. She has solid experience working with climate, energy, and forests. Her background includes projects with international organizations, universities, and the private sector on energy systems and natural resources regulation and modeling.
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publication
Sustainable Global Supply Chains Report 2022

Global supply chains affect the economy, the environment and social welfare in many ways. Worldwide, economies are experiencing global supply shortages today, affecting key industries such as automotive and consumer electronics as well as vaccine and medical supplies industries. These preoccupy policymakers, who are debating independent national production capacities and restrictions on international trade, but also large companies, which consider reshoring production and abandoning just-in-time procurement. At the same time, the greening of the global economy requires a restructuring of global production to massively decrease its environmental footprint. This creates new supply chain challenges – how to move towards circular economies and how to reorient energy-intensive industries towards renewables and green hydrogen, for example. And let‘s not forget: Consumers are increasingly demanding higher social and environmental standards. Transparency requirements and binding due diligence obligations will in particular affect countries that export raw materials and labour-intensive goods produced under problematic environmental and social conditions. All of this calls for policies that shape global supply chains in accordance with globally agreed social and environmental objectives. Policies along these lines will have to balance the legitimate interests of different countries and they may easily fail to achieve their objectives unless they are firmly grounded in a thorough understanding of the respective structures in supply chains, including the power relations between the actors. Further, the economic, social and environmental effects of alternative policy options need to be well understood. Science can make an important contribution here, especially if it maintains a constant dialogue with politics and society. This is why the international “Research Network Sustainable Global Supply Chains” was initiated by the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). It currently comprises about 100 internationally leading scientists from all over the world and is jointly coordinated by our four institutes. Its tasks are: To conduct and stimulate research that contributes to making supply chains more sustainable; and to collect and synthesize the best international research on this topic and make it accessible to policy makers and other societal actors. In addition to its own research, the network organises academic conferences and discussions with policymakers, organises a blog and produces podcasts. With this report – the first in a new annual series – we present new research highlights, provide a forum to debate controversial supply chain topics and identify policy-relevant research gaps for the network‘s future work. The report is, at the same time, an invitation to participate in the discussions on how investment, production and trade will be reorganized in a global economy that has to respond to geopolitical challenges.

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blog
Brazil exports illegal gold: How to tackle the problem
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publication
What is the real socioeconomic impact of gold and diamond exploration in the Amazon?

Gold and diamond mining in the Amazon has become a major debate topic in recent years, and has intensified during the term of the current federal administration, alongside the issues of increased deforestation and armed conflict over land use. The question remains: does mineral exploration actually bring about socioeconomic advances? And how long do such advances really last? These and other questions were addressed during an Instituto Escolhas Webinar on 28 January, which presented the results of the study “What is the real socioeconomic impact of gold and diamond mining in the Amazon?”. The study, undertaken by an interdisciplinary team of regional development experts led by Carlos Manso, a researcher at the Poverty Studies Laboratory of the Federal University of Ceará (LEP/CAEN), addresses how mineral extraction in the municipalities of the Legal Amazon impacts upon key issues for local populations, such as health, education, and GDP per capita. The research project aims to determine whether mining is really able to transform these municipalities’ realities, inviting debate on which activities should be encouraged in which region.

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publication
Protected areas or threatened areas? The endless gold rush in the Indigenous Lands and Conservation Units of the Amazon

This study features updated data until 2020 on the size of the threat that gold poses to protected areas in the Legal Amazon. To accomplish this, the study analyzed all gold prospecting requests (prospecting applications and permits) registered with the National Mining Agency (Agência Nacional de Mineração – ANM) – since these requests indicate private interest in the areas – while being careful to not only check the public databases but also to ask the agency itself for truly active requests, ensuring the accuracy of the analysis of requests so as to estimate overlays with Indigenous Lands and Conservation Units. The recent increase in gold production is accompanied by widespread environmental and social destruction, and it does not bring development for the region, as confirmed in a recent study by Escolhas. Very often, newspapers run stories about gold that is tarnished by the invasion of indigenous territories, violence, drug and arms trafficking, money laundering, slave labor, prostitution, contamination of rivers and of people by mercury, and deforestation. The gold rush in the Amazon is rooted in illegal practices, which today account for about 16% of the country’s production, with extraction taking place in prohibited areas without any sort of control. But that slice of illegality may be much bigger, since there is no way to measure it with precision. Social control over this activity is scant. There is a lack of transparency and verification mechanisms for sector data, and there is no system for effective traceability that would allow the origin of gold that is produced to be monitored. This undermines the inspection and control actions and encourages illegal trade in the country, putting further pressure on the areas that should be protected for the good of the environment and society.

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