Environment – Justice to the rescue of coastal areas in Brazil


Justice has contradicted the Bolsonaro government, which on Monday decided to repeal laws that preserved coastal vegetation.

The law prohibits in particular the construction on the 300 meters of the coastal strip of the protected zones, a rule which in particular prevented the multiplication of hotels and residences on the seafront.


A Brazilian court on Tuesday questioned, following a complaint filed by environmentalists, the decision of the government of President Jair Bolsonaro to repeal rules that allowed to preserve the vegetation of the coast.

This rejection comes less than 24 hours after the announcement made by the government to suspend the law which dated from 2002 and aimed to protect the mangrove, vegetation typical of the tropical sides, while the Brazilian president wanted to eliminate “the zones of permanent protection” . Federal judge Maria Carvalho validated the request of a group of lawyers opposed to the measure, believing that it would cause “a clear risk of irreversible damage to the environment”, according to the decision.

In particular, the law prohibits the construction on the 300 meters of the coastal strip of protected areas, a rule which has notably prevented the proliferation of hotels and residences on the seafront. According to environmental groups, going back on these rules could have a catastrophic effect on environment, the head of the environmental movement SOS Mata Atlantica, Mario Mantovani, estimating Monday that it was about a “crime against the company”.

Far-right President Jair Bolsonaro has never hidden his climate skepticism. He supported the acceleration of deforestation in the Amazon as well as in the wetlands of the Pantanal in order to promote the country’s powerful agro-food industry.

Pass the oxen

Monday’s decision was taken after a meeting of the National Council for the Environment, which brings together public officials, environmental associations, professional unions and is chaired by Environment Minister Ricardo Salles. In 2019, the government issued a decree reducing the number of council members from 96 to 23, at the same time giving more weight to its supporters.

Among other decisions announced Monday, the Council also repealed a measure imposing environmental permits for projects presenting risks in this area, and authorized cement manufacturers to burn packaging of pesticides to recycle them, a highly polluting practice according to environmentalists.

At a ministerial meeting last April, Ricardo Salles said that the government should take advantage of the fact that media attention was focused on the Covid-19 pandemic to “pass the oxen”, a phrase interpreted as a desire to ” speed up measures to make the environmental code more flexible.


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