ACT Brazil has successfully launched the ground-breaking report “Alcohol: Obstacle to development” The report is a collaboration between ACT and Movendi International that comprised Movendi International resources for developing and updating the analysis, including country-specific data for Brazil, funding for translation into Portuguese, developing a brand new and improved design and layout, and support for the public hearing in Parliament.
ACT Health Promotion is a non-governmental organization in Brazil that works for the promotion and protection of public health policies, especially in the areas of tobacco control, healthy eating, alcohol policy development and physical activity. To do so, ACT engages in advocacy actions, which include political advocacy, communication, mobilization, networking and research.
The deputy who held the hearing was impressed with the material and presentations and has already made a public commitment to propose a bill to increase taxes on alcohol in Brazil.
This advocacy win illustrates the power of collaboration, and advocacy work to address alcohol harm within the Agenda 2030.
Alcohol control is a neglected topic in the global and national public health arena,” says Paula Johns, the Executive Director of ACT Health Promotion.
We know a lot about the damage caused, individually and collectively, and we have done very little, or almost nothing, to change this reality. From a public health perspective, we have already made progress in tobacco control and more recently we have begun to advance in the adoption of regulatory measures to reduce the consumption of ultra-processed foods. However, regrettably we cannot say the same about alcohol. There is no lack of evidence demonstrating the positive impacts of price increases, advertising bans and reduced availability of products that are harmful to health.
The sustainable development goals give us the reference of where we want to go and relating them to the alcohol control agenda is extremely important for the necessary political will in order to face the obstacles imposed by the alcohol industry governed by immediate profits above health and of sustainability.”Paula Johns, Executive Director, ACT Health Promotion
Interest in the new report has been big in Brazil: other law makers, civil society, academia, as well sustainability experts have all indicated interest in collaboration with ACT to advance the conversation about alcohol as obstacle to development in Brazil.
The report reveals how alcohol hinders sustainable development in Brazil, concerning all three dimensions of sustainability. Movendi International developed the initial analysis of how alcohol impedes progress towards the SDGs in 2015 and has updated the analysis regularly.
For the case of Brazil, Movendi International and ACT collaborated to include specific analysis of alcohol harms in Brazil across the SDGs.
Alcohol is a major obstacle to sustainable development, which negatively affects all three dimensions of sustainable development and all aspects of society. It is undermining human capital, undermining economic productivity, eroding the social fabric and straining health systems. It harms human happiness and well-being. In addition to human health, it also harms the health of the planet.
All people want to see their communities and societies prosper,” says Kristina Sperkova, International President of Movendi International.
This will happen when we create environments that enhance people’s well-being, social connections and fair access to common resources. But sustainable development remains beyond the reach of a significant portion of the population.
One of the main reasons for this is the damage caused by alcohol companies, which put their own profits before people’s well-being. Big Alcohol lobbies against attempts to develop policy solutions that protect people from the harm caused by alcohol.
That’s why we need to address alcohol as a major impediment to development. We have a set of proven alcohol policy solutions: raising taxes, limiting availability and banning advertising. They are high-impact solutions that political leaders must embrace as they protect people from the harm caused by alcohol and help create thriving communities with health and development for all people.”Kristina Sperkova, International President, Movendi International