President Jair Bolsonaro was denounced at the United Nations (UN) for the role of the Brazilian government in the area of the environment.
The action took place during the meeting of the entity’s Human Rights Council, in the part of the session aimed at the participation of non-governmental entities, and was coordinated by organizations working in the Amazon.
The complaint includes changes promoted by the government in the composition of bodies that provided for the participation of civil society in the development of public policies.
Activists claim that the Ministry of the Environment has reduced citizen representation in the National Environment Council (Conama) and the National Commission for REDD +, a device created by the UN Climate Convention to financially reward countries that reduce carbon emissions.
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“The changes were made in an undemocratic way, because they reduce the participation and the possibility of civil society intervention in environmental governance and climate governance”, highlights Pedro Martins, lawyer of the organization Terra de Direitos.
In addition, NGOs are also concerned about the high rates of deforestation – in April, the Amazon recorded a 171% increase in deforestation compared to the same period in 2019, according to data from the Deforestation Alert System. Another point is the increased role of the Armed Forces in environmental inspection operations in the Amazon region. According to environmentalists, the outbreak of Operation Verde Brasil 2, in May this year, demanded greater use of public resources and less transparency in spending and social control.
For organizations, it is necessary to guarantee the right to land and climate to the original people, associating the climate policy with the country’s territorial policy. “In general, the Bolsonaro government has been working not to title quilombola territories, not to demarcate indigenous lands, not to guarantee agrarian reform. On the contrary, the government has acted to deliver public land in a way that facilitates land grabbing and the entry of foreign capital in the capture of land in Brazil, ”says Martins.
The Brazilian government’s environmental policy also led the Federal Public Ministry to request the removal of the Minister of the Environment, Ricardo Salles. The prosecution accuses Salles of acting “intentionally”, that is, with intent, to weaken the policies that ensure environmental preservation in the country. The minister will answer for the crime of administrative improbity, which results in loss of public function.
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The complaints presented by Terra de Direitos have the support of the Small Farmers Movement (MPA), Tapajós Arapiuns Indigenous Council (CITA), Friends of the Earth Brazil, National Council of Extractive Populations (CNS), Coordination of Indigenous Organizations in the Brazilian Amazon ( Coiab), Coordination of Associations of the Remaining Communities of Quilombos do Pará – Malungu and Phase-Federation of Organs for Social and Educational Assistance.
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