Boiada is happening again, say environmental NGOs – 24/05/2023 – Environment
Considered “a step backwards”, the report by Deputy Isnaldo Bulhões Jr. (MDB-AL) on MP 1154, which structures Executive bodies, is seen by environmentalists as an inversion of the purpose announced by the Lula government (PT) when it came to power.
Instead of restructuring the environmental policies dismantled in the Jair Bolsonaro government, the provisional measure may end up consolidating, in the form of law, the emptying of environmental agencies, according to the assessment of socio-environmental NGOs and technical notes from the MMA (Ministry of the Environment ).
The proposal removes from the MMA the powers over the CAR (Rural Environmental Registry), the ANA (National Water Agency) and the management of solid waste and sanitation, in addition to removing two of its main attributions from the newly created Ministry of Indigenous Peoples: the demarcation of indigenous lands and the administration of Funai.
“Congress is putting a lot of pressure on the Lula government’s administrative restructuring proposal and the areas of environment and indigenous people are left with the greatest account”, says Márcio Astrini, executive secretary of the Observatório do Clima, a network that brings together 94 socio-environmental organizations.
The congressional movement resumes, in Astrini’s assessment, the environmental dismantling that took place under Bolsonaro. “The herd in the Bolsonaro government took many forms: either by decree, by actions to empty control bodies or by dehydration of ministries that did not interest the government, such as the Environment”, he recalls.
“Passar a boiada” is a reference to the expression used by former Minister of the Environment Ricardo Salles, current federal deputy for the PL-SP, to defend the weakening of environmental policies in the Bolsonaro administration.
A letter signed by 30 civil society organizations and headed by the youth movement Fridays for Future Brasil calls the provisional measure a “baseless attempt”.
“It is important that President Lula and the parliamentarians of the allied base take a stand against this baseless attempt to empty the ministries in less than six months of government. We cannot let the herd pass regardless of which government is in power”, says the text .
Officials in the environmental area, through Ascema (National Association of Environmental Servants) also expressed criticism in a letter.
“It is necessary to question who is interested in emptying the MMA, breaking policies in the midst of a climate change scenario and withdrawing a commitment to a balanced environment in these areas”, highlights the document.
In a note, WWF-Brasil stated that “it is in the hands of the National Congress to guarantee the reconstruction of socio-environmental public policies, dehydrated during the administration of President Jair Bolsonaro”. For the NGO, “MP 1154 is heading in that direction, however, it is threatened”.
“The new wording removes important instruments of environmental policy from the MMA, transferring them to ministries without the necessary technical competence, in addition to emptying the attributions of the Ministry of Indigenous Peoples”, also cites the WWF, which defends, along with other organizations, the maintenance of the original text of the provisional measure, as it was sent by the government to Congress.
The emptying proposed in the new text of the MP also generated an internal reaction in the environmental folder.
A note signed by the MMA’s deforestation control secretary, André Rodolfo de Lima, in a dispatch sent to Minister Marina Silva, states: “Remember that this government is committed to restructuring the National Environmental System and not the other way around”.
Gathering technical assessments from the MMA secretariats on the implications of Deputy Bulhões Jr’s report, the technical note points to losses in the implementation of environmental policies.
“The perspective of water only as an input for human activities will prevail, neglecting the action for the maintenance of ecological processes, communities and traditional peoples and adaptation to climate change”, points out the text, when evaluating the ANA transfer proposal ( National Water Agency) to the MDR (Ministry of Regional Development).
On Tuesday (23), a demonstration signed by three former ANA directors asked the mayor, Arthur Lira (PP-AL), and the MP’s rapporteur, Isnaldo Bulhões, that the agency remain in the environmental portfolio.
“There is no benefit from such a transfer. On the contrary, placing regulation under the ministerial roof responsible for water use works will reduce ANA’s regulatory independence and will certainly harm the sustainable use of water resources and the country’s environmental agenda”, he says. the demonstration.
Although, in general, the MMA technical note defends that the environmental bodies and competences remain in the Ministry of the Environment, as historically happened until the Bolsonaro government, there is a caveat: the National System of Information on Basic Sanitation (Sinisa) should be kept at the Ministry of Cities, according to the portfolio’s opinion.
The system was already part of the sanitation secretariat, of the Ministry of Cities, and was transferred to the MMA through the MP sent by Lula to Congress.
“Sinisa deals with issues related to the provision of sanitation services, and not the management of natural resources or the management of basins, or even issues of water security and water pollution (which would be the responsibility of the SQA/MMA). we have obstacles for Sinisa to return to the Ministry of Cities”, says the note.
The MMA opinion opposes, in particular, the transfer of the CAR (Rural Environmental Registry) to the Ministry of Management and Innovation in Public Services.
As a basis for the positioning, the note cites article 17 of the National Environmental Policy: “the actions of licensing, registration, authorizations, concessions and permissions related to fauna, flora, and environmental control are the exclusive competence of the bodies that make up the National Environmental System”.
The proposal on the transfer of the CAR also generated criticism from agribusiness.
“Such a proposal will result in the paralysis of the implementation of the Forest Code, negatively impacting Brazilian rural producers”, says rural producer João Adrien.
Current vice-president of the Brazilian Rural Society, Adrien held high-ranking positions in the Ministry of Agriculture during the government of Jair Bolsonaro, including the post of director of environmental regularization at the Brazilian Forestry Service, then transferred to Agriculture.
“[A transferência] resulted in a delay of at least 12 months in advancing new modules and supporting the states”, says Adrien about the experience in the previous management. According to him, the delay generates losses for rural producers who adhere to environmental regularization and seek to reverse environmental fines.
He also points out that the Ministry of Management and Innovation in Public Services does not have the technical competence to manage the CAR system with the states, which should lead to a fragmentation of state systems and, consequently, more legal uncertainty for the policy.
The Planeta em Transe project is supported by the Open Society Foundations.