Upon returning from recess in August, the National Congress and the Federal Supreme Court (STF) will be able to deliberate on crucial issues for the future of the environment, native peoples and traditional communities that inhabit the most remote parts of Brazil. The National Congress recess is from the 18th to the 31st of July. The STF is from the 2nd to the 31st of the same month.
Among the initiatives are the loosening of land tenure regularization and environmental license rules, amnesty for squatters on public lands, the creation of barriers to the demarcation of indigenous lands, in addition to opening these territories to agribusiness, mining, mining and hydroelectric power plants.
See what the main projects are:
“PL of land grabbing”
Nicknamed in reference to its main beneficiaries, Bill 2633/2020 is being processed in the Chamber on an urgent basis, that is, skipping procedural steps.
In practice, the approval would open the way for the regularization of public areas invaded by land grabbers and environmental criminals and would facilitate the legalization of invasions where there are traditional, indigenous and quilombola communities.
A study by the Instituto Socioambiental (ISA) estimates that the PL, defended by the ruralist caucus, has the potential to give amnesty to invaders of 55 and 65 million hectares of federal land. Each hectare is equivalent to the size of a soccer field. Land grabbing, according to the entity, increased 274% between 2018 and 2020 in Brazil.
The proposal also provides for land grabbers to regularize invaded territories, even where traditional communities are present.
When a rural property is in the process of land regularization, Funai, ICMBio and Incra can express interest in the area, if there are indigenous peoples, quilombolas or conservation units there.
:: In a collective, civil society reinforces the chorus against the vote of “PL da Grilagem” ::
If approved, the text will restrict the performance of these bodies, requiring the submission of a technical study, within six months, that proves the socio-environmental impact.
Changing the demarcation of indigenous lands
Proceeding through the Chamber, the Bill (490) allows initiatives in the “public interest” to override the constitutional principle of exclusive usufruct of indigenous lands by original peoples, even including forced contact with isolated peoples, those who chose not to live with the non-indigenous society.
Under intense opposition from indigenous organizations, it was approved in June by the Committee on Constitution and Justice and Citizenship (CCJ) and should go to the House’s plenary. The text also proposes that the demarcation of indigenous lands be done through ordinary laws and takes the opportunity to institute, via Legislative, the Temporal Framework.
The Temporal Framework is a thesis currently being judged by the STF, which determines that demarcations of indigenous lands can only be established in areas that were occupied by native peoples in 1988. That is, if these peoples have been expelled from these places before that date, never can claim them back.
“The Project brings a series of issues to make land tenure more flexible, this time frame discards any possibility of some peoples who have questioned through the courts, through the administrative channels”, explains federal deputy Joenia Wapishana (REDE-RR).
More than 20 Bills are attached within the PL 490. For the parliamentarian, the risk is “to approve everything in a single cake”.
::Câmara approves a project that threatens the future of indigenous people for the benefit of ruralists::
Dismantling of environmental licensing
Dubbed the “General Law on the extinction of Environmental Licensing”, Bill 3729/2004 is urgently being processed in the Senate and is accused by several civil society organizations of being one of the most harmful anti-environmental initiatives under discussion in the country.
The project eliminates the need for environmental licensing for agricultural activities, mining, maintenance of roads and ports, also allowing the automatic renewal of licenses through the internet.
Civil society organizations made demands to the Senate to establish the normal procedure, making the project go through the commissions, so that it can be more debated and improved.
::Understand why the Environmental Licensing PL brings risks to health and the environment::
Temporal in the STF
A legal thesis considered “absurd” by organizations linked to the indigenous issue, the Temporal Framework provides that territories can only be demarcated if indigenous peoples are able to prove that they were occupying the area before or on the exact date of the promulgation of the Federal Constitution, on October 5th 1988, or if conflict over land tenure is proven.
Rejected by organizations linked to the indigenous cause, Marco Temporal entered the STF’s agenda on June 11, but the analysis was interrupted by a prominent request from Minister Alexandre de Moraes. The rapporteur of the process, Minister Edson Fachin, voted against the use of criteria for demarcation of territories.
Technique explains the risk of environmental degradation included in the projects
From the perspective of Adriana Ramos, advisor to the Social and Environmental Policy and Law Program at the Instituto Socioambiental (ISA), the approval of the guidelines could decisively intensify environmental degradation, crowning the deregulation process the sector has been going through since the beginning of the government. by Jair Bolsonaro (no party).
For the advisor, the speed in voting on the Temporal Framework in the STF is in the interest of organizations that defend the environment, since one of the consequences of the approval of PL 490 would be the transformation of this legal thesis into law.
“We have great expectations that this vote will take place soon, before the approval of PL 490. Because there is the intention in the Chamber of speeding up the vote on this PL and, therefore, trying to influence the STF. August, so everything indicates that this will happen,” he says.
“Boiada” is in a hurry
The arrival of the dry season in the Amazon as of July facilitates the proliferation of fires and deforestation. During this period, the devastation tends to break records and gain prominence in national and international headlines.
It is supposed that the negative repercussion could discourage government deputies from approving projects of the anti-environmental agenda during this period. But the ISA advisor does not see the scenario with such optimism.
“Unfortunately, we are dealing with a group of parliamentarians who are not embarrassed with this type of issue related to the public interest. So unfortunately I think that there will not be this type of embarrassment and agendas contrary to the environment and indigenous rights will remain in the priorities “, analyzes.
With an eye on the 2022 elections, the federal government is also in a hurry to “pass the cattle”. “This is a government that is in a crisis of popularity. Therefore, these parliamentarians, in order to do this kind of evil, need to take the opportunity to vote soon, before the election year.”
Edition: Vinícius Segalla