Archive for the ‘Brazilian Environmental Legislation’ Category

As cars are one of the biggest air polluters and greenhouse gas producers, the law appears as an initiative to help compensate the damages caused to by these vehicles to the environment. Photo: The Guardian

The law appears as an initiative to help compensate the damages caused by these vehicles to the environment. Photo: The Guardian

A new law approved in Manaus, capital of the Brazilian State of Amazonas, aims to turn the city greener and less polluted. Local car dealerships will have to plant a tree for every brand new car sold, under the penalty of a fine and other binding measures, as determined by the Law 1730, sanctioned on the 15th May this year by the Mayor Arthur Virgilio Neto.

As cars are one of the biggest air polluters and greenhouse gas producers, the law appears as an initiative to help compensate the damages caused to the environment by these vehicles. The new legislation is expected to come into force within 90 days, while the local City Council studies how it must be correctly executed in relation to inspection, monitoring, fines and other measures.

According to the law, the local City Council will be responsible to map and define the areas to receive the trees, but the car dealerships must cover the expenses with the purchase of the seedlings and the planting. Whoever fails to comply with this legislation may be fined with R$ 39, 800 (around € 15,000). In case of repeated violation, the infractors may pay twice this amount and have their activities suspended.


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Source: Idesam

Participatory Analysis of the 5 Year Implementation of the Amazonas Policy for Climate Change. Source: Idesam

Members of the Amazonian Forum for Climate Change (FAMC) launch today, in Manaus, an analysis of the last 5 years of the Policy for Climate Change (PEMC) implementation in the Amazonas State. The study, carried out during 2012, aims to identify the flaws on the execution of this policy and propose immediate solutions for its effective development.

The approval of the Law that implements the State Policy for Environment Services, which includes a REDD+ subprogram for the Amazonas State, is the top measure on the list. The implementation of a State Greenhouse Gases Inventory and the creation of a State Fund for Climate Change come in second and third place, respectively.

“There has never been an assessment made of the PEMC implementation in the 5 years since its implementation. We noticed the existence of problems in a few sectors so we decided to propose measures to improve this policy”, says Mariano Cenamo, one of the study’s authors and member of the Institute for Conservation and Sustainable Development of the Amazonas (Idesam).

The Amazonas was the first Brazilian State to design a specific legislation on climate change, known as the PEMC, and was followed by 12 other states. This legislation seeks to consolidate projects and actions targeted to conserve and protect the environment in addition to promoting social, economic and sustainable development in the state.


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As previously published on our blog, the Brazilian Government must conclude a national Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) strategy this year. According to the latest updates about the topic on the Brazil’s Ministry for Environment (MMA) website, it is estimated that a nationwide REDD+ regulation will be finished by the end of November 2013, in time for the nineteenth United Nations Conference of the Parties (COP) on Climate Change, in Warsaw, Poland.

Francisco Oliveira, the MMA’s Head of Policies to Fight Deforestation, says that a REDD+ strategy for the country will be fundamental to future international negotiations. “This year we are going to make the difference and go to the next COP in a strong position”, he adds. For the moment, the Brazilian Government is focused on the completion of the legal procedures of this regulation, which will include a public consultation, before its official implementation.

As stated by the MMA, the main purpose of creating a Brazilian REDD+ mechanism is to encourage actions and projects that help preserve the Amazon Rainforest, as a means to curbing greenhouse gas emissions. Francisco Oliveira explains that it is necessary to ally expertise and monitoring with incentives to sustainable activities, such as REDD+ projects, in order to abate the deforestation of the Amazon forest and reduce the greenhouse gas effect.

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The thirteenth meeting of the forum happened at the beginning of this month in Manaus. Photo: SDS

The implementation of a State Policy for Environmental Services (PESA) in the Brazilian State of Amazonas is one of the top priorities of the Amazonian Forum on Climate Change (FAMC). The thirteenth meeting of the forum happened at the beginning of this month in Manaus, where members of the government, private sector and the civil society discussed the State’s 2013 agenda on climate change.

The forum debated the creation of a monitoring committee for transparency in the implementation of the PESA as well as the formation of a group to work on the State’s REDD+ regulation. According to the Secretary for Environment in the Amazonas State (SDS), it is important to include all the society members in this process, so that the future regulations are consistent with the needs of the local region.

At the moment, the bill that institutes the PESA is under debate in the State Civil House and, according to SDS, it still must be forwarded to the Legislative Assembly for voting at the beginning of this year. When implemented, this policy will establish a State regulatory framework on environmental services and will create a Climate and Carbon Regulation Program, which includes a specific subprogram on REDD+.

The Amazonian Forum on Climate Change was instituted in 2007 by the State Policy for Climate Change (PEMC), but was officially created in 2009. The main objective of this forum is to discuss the climate change issue and propose public policies on topics such as, the use of soil, forest and environmental services; energy; climate change adaptation and mitigation.

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A stark visual reminder of how land use change can affect the rainforest

A stark visual reminder of how land use change can affect the rainforest. Photograph: Daniel Beltra/Greenpeace.

Global priorities are constantly being pulled in any number of directions by various interested stakeholder groups. It is well established, that the earth is suffering from an increasing scarcity of resources, leading us collectively facing some very difficult decisions, in order to balance a number of competing objectives.

This can be notably illustrated in the vast Amazon region of Brazil. In the ongoing struggle between Agriculturalists and Conservationists; in this emotionally-charged and polarising global debate, the two sides remain steadfast and ready to defend their interests indefinitely.

One side says – Save the forest and you can fight climate change. While the other says that if you – Clear the forest, you can ease global hunger. How could one argue against either of those crucial global objectives?

Having said that, “there are alarming signs that the Amazon is caught in a vicious cycle and the more this great climate regulator is cleared, the less predictable global weather systems will become. That increases the risk of droughts and floods, ruining crops across the world. This in turn, adds to the pressure to clear the forest.”

Many farmers, fuelled by a blasé commercially-driven mind-set, say that the economic incentives outweigh the legal risks. “The ones who follow the rules like me are considered idiots. The ones who break the rules make the money,” said a landowner, Milton Luiz Molfensteiner. “In reality, it has become a contest between economics and the law.”

The fact that over seven billion of us are all competing for the scarce resources available, should now be addressed, not just by some, but by all of us. It is time for some important decisions to be made, both at a local and a global level, and hopefully we can find an equitable balance between these competing objectives.

While great strides have been made in abating deforestation by IBAMA, the Brazilian government’s environmental protection agency, and others in the region, especially since the dark heights of deforestation rates back in 2004 (10,723 square miles was deforested in a year, equivalent to the size of Albania, Haiti or Belgium); there remains an undercurrent of external industrialist pressure groups and organisations that have a vested interest in what form the final enacted Brazilian Forestry Code takes.

The struggle continues in Brazil, despite the record reductions in deforestation rates. The agriculturalists, who are the main catalysts of mass land use change, are contributing towards the devastating loss of inherent, valuable and irreplaceable Natural Capital and the essential Ecosystem Services which are crucial for both human survival & well-being and form the foundation for all human economic activity.

With the impending introduction of the new Brazilian Forestry Code, which is currently under the global microscope and the object of intense lobbying from each side; ultimately only time will tell, if this new and much needed legislation will appease or even suffice in the constant struggle between the demand for Food & Consumer Products vs. our necessity for Natural Capital and Ecosystem Services.

Source: http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2012/nov/14/brazil-amazon-rangers-farmers-burning

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The Brazilian Ministry for the Environment announced that a national mechanism to regulate Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) must be implemented in 2013. The conclusion of a national strategy for REDD+ and the use of the Amazon Forest as a mechanism to help mitigate climate change is set as part of the priority plan for this year, according to the government. The plan will support the implementation of projects aiming to encourage forest conservation and sustainability as well as reduce the emissions of greenhouse gases.

Carlos Klink, Secretary for climate change and Environmental Quality, stated that the Brazilian strategic plan for REDD+ is already designed and will be implemented soon. Still this year, a Sector Mitigation and Climate Change Plan will be executed. In order to be completed and put into practice, these projects will have to fit harmoniously with the existing legislations of the 18 Brazilian states, which already address these forestry and climate change issues subject.

Klink recognises the importance of discussing the global greenhouse effect and the need to invest in climate change mitigation. According to him, the subject was previously considered, by the Brazilian Government, to be a more international problem, but now has gained momentum nationally and is being increasingly discussed within the Brazilian political rhetoric.

Source: Brazilian Ministry for the Environment

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