Changes at ICMBio and IBAMA
Changes at ICMBio and IBAMA
There have been changes made at ICMBio and IBAMA by Brazilian President Bolsinaro and his Minister of the Environment. A number of articles have appeared online in Portuguese and I have translated and summarised them as follows:
As I reported in the news report on 29th May President Jair Bolsonaro said in a speech on Monday 29th April that he had negotiated with Environment Minister Ricardo Salles to "clean up" the Brazilian Institute of Environment and Renewable Natural Resources (IBAMA) and the Chico Mendes Institute for Biodiversity Conservation (ICMBio). The speech was made at the Agrishow event, a traditional agribusiness fair in Ribeirão Preto in the interior of São Paulo. The president questioned the oversight of the organisations and classified it as "xiita".
He stated one important measure is to “clean up” IBAMA and ICMBio. There has to be enforcement, but the people living on the land have to be considered. About 40 percent of the fines imposed by the organisations was used to support a “xiita” scrutiny, which served only small interest groups and not the environment.
Adalberto Eberhard, the president of ICMBio president had been dismissed on April 15. Since then Salles has made changes to the personnel of the two bodies linked to the environment including appointing Colonel Homero of Giorge Cerqueira, who acted as commander of the Environmental Military Police of the state of São Paulo Police as new president.
Then three of the four directors who are directly subordinate to the ICMBio presidency, asked to be dismissed in a letter to the minister. They were Régis Pinto Maia, vice-chair and director of Biodiversity Research, Assessment and Monitoring (Dibio); Luiz Felipe de Luca, Director of Creation and Management of Conservation Units (Diman) and Gabriel Henrique Lui, Director of Actions and Socio-environmental and Territorial Consolidation in Conservation Areas (DISAT).
They wrote "In view of the dismissal of Mr. Adalberto Eberhard from the position of ICMBio president last April 15, and recognising the need for his guidance to the Institute to be supported and conducted by a team of his highest esteem and confidence, we have asked to be dismissed from our positions, ". At the conclusion of the document, the three outgoing employees thanked "the opportunity to contribute to the management of ICMBio
In their place military officers have been appointed. The ICMBio board of directors is now made up of four directors as follows: Colonel Fernando Lorencini is with the Planning, Administration and Logistics Board (Diplan); Lieutenant-Colonel Marcos Simanovic, with the Directorate of Creation and Management of Conservation Units (Diman); Major Marcos Aurélio goes to the Directorate of Research, Evaluation and Monitoring of Biodiversity (Dibio); and also Major Marcos José Pereira, for the Socio-environmental Actions and Territorial Consolidation in Conservation Areas (Disat).
The four new directors worked with Salles when he was Secretary of the Environment (2016-2017) of the then governor of São Paulo Geraldo Alckmin (PSDB). The restructuring seems to be part of the inclination of President Jair Bolsonaro (PSL), to militarise the environmental sector, taking the positions of environmental and trained professionals
When asked the Ministry of the Environment responded in a note that the appointment of a new board is part of the natural "process" of filling positions of the new management.
"The appointment of the new board of ICMBio complements the process of natural occupation of positions of the new management that will conduct the work of the institute, together with the indicated president, Colonel Homero of Giorge Cerqueira," said the ministry in the note.
The biologist and professor at the University of Brasília (UnB) Bráulio Dias has criticised Bolsonaro's speech and said the statements show "disinformation" regarding the environmental agenda and the work of the area's servers.
"The statements of the president show great disinformation with the relevance of the environmental agenda and with the dedication of the public servants who work in this area. It also shows an ignorance of the principles and guidelines of the Federal Constitution of 1988 and the guidelines, objectives and goals of the Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development”, said Bráulio
For the biologist, the president promotes a "disservice" to national interests and the agribusiness sector itself when adopting this type of position. According to Bráulio Dias, if this path is followed, the result will be an increase of environmental disasters.
"The path followed by the president meets the aspirations of the backward and non-competitive band of national agribusiness - the result will be an increase of environmental disasters, loss of forests. By following this path, Brazilian agribusiness will lose competitiveness and markets, suffer the impact of more droughts and floods and will be devastated by climate change, "added the biologist.
Salles had already been criticised by the judges of São Paulo. In December, when it received an action from the Public Prosecutor's Office, the TJ-SP condemned Salles for modifying maps and the decree draft of the management plan of the Várzea do Tietê Environmental Protection Area to benefit companies, especially in the mining sector. Salles appealed the decision, which among other things revoked his political rights for three years.
Very close to the rural interests and entrepreneurs of various sectors such as the manufacture of weapons, the minister defended the authorisation by IBAMA of the opening of lots of oil exploration in the region of the national marine park of Abrolhos, in the south of Bahia