Chamber resumes MP ‘jabuti’ against Atlantic forest – 05/24/2023 – Environment

Chamber resumes MP ‘jabuti’ against Atlantic forest – 05/24/2023 – Environment


The Chamber of Deputies rejected changes made by the Federal Senate and reinstated changes that weaken the protection of the Atlantic Forest in an MP (provisional measure) of the government of Jair Bolsonaro (PL) that deals with environmental regularization.

By 364 votes to 66, the deputies rejected the Senate’s decision to exclude from the provisional measure the section, added by the Chamber of Deputies, which loosened the rules for the protection of the Atlantic Forest. Now, the text goes to presidential sanction.

The changes taken up were included in the proposal by the rapporteur in the Chamber, federal deputy Sérgio Souza (MDB-PR), former president of the FPA (Parliamentary Front for Agriculture), guarantor of the ruralist caucus. This Wednesday, he resumed the devices removed by senators.

Federal deputy Fernanda Melchionna (PSOL-RS) presented a point of order criticizing the rapporteur’s interpretation. The mayor, Arthur Lira (PP-AL), however, rejected the request.

“In the first place, who is in a position to grant admissibility to any matter on a related topic or not is the board of directors of the House where it is processed. The Chamber cannot interfere in matters that the Senate votes to consider as foreign matter, and the Senate cannot cannot do that in relation to the Chamber”, said Lira.

“This already happened last year, and we redid the text in the Chamber. The Senate does not have this regimental basis for analyzing the matter.”

Initially, the project provided for a sixth round of amnesty for rural properties with deforestation and also postponed the application of reforestation plans. The amendment contemplated by the rapporteur in the Chamber, which weakens the Atlantic Forest Law, had nothing to do with the initial theme.

The amendment opened a loophole in the law for the construction of power transmission lines and gas pipelines within preservation areas —points of interest for at least part of the energy sector.

The measure even had the support of the Ministry of Mines and Energy and parliamentarians from União Brasil.

In the Senate, the section suffered resistance from the government, which managed to articulate the overthrow with President Rodrigo Pacheco (PSD-MG). When the text returned to the Chamber, this Tuesday, the deputies replaced the tortoise in the project.

The MP eased the deforestation of primary and secondary vegetation in the advanced stage of regeneration by withdrawing the requirement, currently provided for in the law, that this could only occur when “there is no technical and locational alternative to the proposed development”.

The measure also says that the removal of the biome will depend “exclusively on authorization from the competent municipal environmental body” —excluding the need for a technical opinion on the action.

This Wednesday, only the PSOL-Rede federation advised against the decision to reject the changes made by the Senate. The federation that brings together PT, PC do B and PV released the bench, and the government Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (PT) guided in favor of rejection.

Planalto members claim, however, that there is an agreement, signed before the MP was voted for the first time in the House, and that President Lula should veto the stretch.

In a note, the Climate Observatory, a network that brings together more than 90 socio-environmental organizations, repudiated the approval of an amendment “which weakens the protection of the Atlantic Forest, as it had dreamed [o ex-ministro] Ricardo Salles”.

“It only remains for Lula to veto them [os jabutis]”, says the entity. “Arthur Lira and his chainsaw men play with the herd, but the one who opened the gate this time was the Planalto Palace.”

Fernanda Melchionna harshly criticized the text. “A giant, huge tortoise was placed, which is the permission to dismantle the Atlantic Forest Law. This 2006 law was a fundamental achievement for preserving the most deforested biome in the country”, she said.

“With this tortoise, the preservation law would not be complied with, following the logic of deforestation, as the suppression of vegetation in the Atlantic Forest would be allowed in several stages. Furthermore, Brazil would not comply with the international agreements with which it committed itself at the Conference of Climate”, continued the psolista.

The provisional measure postpones, for the sixth time, the deadline for rural landowners to regularize their properties. That is, it allows farmers to gain more time to bring their properties into line with environmental laws.

With the measure, the deadline for registration of properties in the CAR (Rural Environmental Registry) is extended to the end of 2023 or 2024, depending on its size.

By joining the CAR, the owner enters the so-called PRA, Environmental Regularization Program, which provides a series of benefits, but also requires that a process of reforestation of deforested areas be put into practice.

The previous deadline for enrollment in the register was December 31, 2022. The register, mandatory for all rural properties, serves to control and supervise environmental crimes committed on the properties and to prepare related public policies.

The postponement, in practice, allows landowners to postpone the start of reforestation and, therefore, to be able to explore areas of irregular deforestation.

The Planeta em Transe project is supported by the Open Society Foundations.


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