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Environmental Law Research--Brazil
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Environmental Law Research--Brazil



This is a presentation that was made during Hamline University's Summer Collaborative Research Seminar in the Summer of 2007.

This is a presentation that was made during Hamline University's Summer Collaborative Research Seminar in the Summer of 2007.



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Environmental Law Research--Brazil Environmental Law Research--Brazil Presentation Transcript

  • International Law and Brazilian Law:
    Indigenous Peoples Rights and Sustainable Development
    Presenter: João Murilo S. V. da Fonseca
  • Presentation Outline
    Part I: Introduction
    Part II: Material Researched
    Part III: Next Topics
    Part IV: Conducting the Research
    Part V: Questions?
  • PART I
    The Amazon
    International Law
  • Brazil
  • Brazil
    Basic Facts:
    • Largest Country in Latin America (slightly smaller than the United States)
    • 190 million people
    • Official language: Portuguese
    • Ethnic Groups: Europeans, Asians, Africans, and Indigenous Peoples
  • Brazil
    Government and Legal System:
    Federative Republic formed by union of States, Municipalities and Federal District, under democratic government
    All persons are equal before the law
    The Constitution outlines principles of social order
    States have their own Constitution based upon Federal Constitution
  • Brazil
    Government and Legal System:
    Legislative power of Republic is exercised by a Congress formed by Chamber of Federal Deputies and Federal Senate.
    All representatives are elected by direct vote
    Judicial power is exercised by the Supreme Federal Court and the Superior Court of Justice, Federal Regional Courts, and Federal Judges, Military, Electoral, and Labor Courts. States have their own judiciary for State matters.
  • Brazil
    Courts and Legislature:
    Federal Supreme Court: declares unconstitutionality of treaty or federal law; and considers valid law or local government contested under Constitution.
    Superior Court of Justice: Adjudicates at Ordinary appeal level cases in which parties are foreign State or international organization on one part, and Municipality or person resident or domiciled in Brazil or another
    Federal Regional Courts: process and adjudicates: cases between foreign State or international organizations and Municipality or person domiciled or resident in Brazil ; cases based on treaty or contract of Republic with foreign State or international organization; and disputes over the right of Indians
  • The Amazon
    Terminology Clarifications:
    The Amazonia rainforest
    Represent an area greater than the scope of this research
    The Amazônia Legal
    Main scenario of this research
    Located in the Northern Region of Brazil
    The State of Amazonas
    Relevant for the purposes of this research because it is one of the states that comprises the Amazonia Legal
  • The Amazon
    The Amazon Biomass:
    Biomass: “group of eco regions, fauna, flora, dynamics of ecological processes and similar ecology”
    French Guiana, Guiana, Suriname, Colombia, Bolivia, Ecuador, Venezuela and Brazil
    Brazil hosts 63% of the total Amazon biomass
    17% rate of deforestation in relation to its original mass
  • The Amazon
  • The Amazon
    The Amazônia Legal:
    Law No. 1.806 of December 6 of 1953:
    Established the region comprised of seven full states and parts of other two states
    Seeks economic development
    Takes in consideration the needs of the local community and the environment as limiting factors for economic development
    Represents 59% of the Brazilian territory
    Encompasses 63% of the total Rainforest Biomass. This is an area of 5 million square kilometers, or more than half of the forty-eight contiguous United States
  • The Amazon
    The Amazônia Legal:
    In 2004, it was 60% covered with forest (Original area was 74%)
    27,5 billion dollars or 6.1% of Brazil’s GDP (2002)
    Land distribution:
    24% Private
    33 % Indigenous reserves
    10 % Special Areas (Military, Protected Ecosystems)
    33 % Disputed Lands or Lands with no ownership
  • The Amazon
  • International Law
    What is it?
    Rules of conduct that are binding on international actors in relations, transactions, and problems that transcend national frontiers
    In its initial phase states were regarded as the only legitimate international actors
    In the 20th Century, states ceased to be the sole subjects of international legal rules. This makes it possible the application of norms of conduct to a wide range of individuals, and institutions
  • International Law
    Sources of International as established by the International Court of Justice:
    International Conventions
    International Custom
    General Principles of Law
    Judicial decisions
    Teachings of the most highly qualified publicists of the various nations
  • Part II
    Material Researched:
    Definition of Sustainable Development
    Major International Treaties
    The Brazilian Environmental Dilemma
    The Brazilian Law in Respect to Sustainable Development
    Further Research
  • Definition of Sustainable Development
    Magraw and Hawke (2007):
    Acknowledges that important disagreements exist about its precise meaning and implications, and resistance to its definition still surfaces from time to time
    Sustainable development takes into account economic development, environmental protection (including human health), and social development (including human rights)
  • Definition of Sustainable Development
    Gould (2006):
    Has come to be a deeply contested and co-opted concept
    Sustainable development implies global, national, regional, and local development strategies that meet basic needs while ensuring the integrity of ecosystems, and doing so in a manner that does not reduce the capacity of future generations to do the same.
  • Definition of Sustainable Development
    Gould (Cont.):
    It also seeks to meets human’s needs and intragenerational, intergenerational, and international equity. Human basic needs means food, shelter, medicine, livelihood, and community
    Pearce (1999):
    Defines sustainable development as “economic development that lasts”, which in turn is defined as “non-declining consumption per capita, or GNP, or whatever the agreed indicator of development is”
  • Major International Treaties
    1992 UN Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED)
    For the first time, world’s government officially adopted sustainable development as the development paradigm
    27 key principles are to guide the integration of environment and development policies
    Principle 7 of Rio Declaration states: ‘States shall cooperate in a spirit of global partnership to conserve, protect and restore the health and integrity of the Earth’s ecosystem. In views of different contributions to global environmental degradation, States have common but differentiated responsibilities’
  • Major International Treaties
    In 1994 WTO recognized sustainable development as one of its objectives (1st paragraph of the preamble to the Marrakech Agreement Establishing the World Trade Organization)
    For the first time in a renowned convention, in the 1995 World Summit for Sustainable Development there was an explicit linkage between economic development, social development, and environmental protection.
  • Major International Treaties
    2000 United Nations Millennium Declaration:
    Reaffirmed concept of Sustainable Development agreed upon UNCED, including six fundamental values essential to international relations:
    Respect for nature
    Shared responsibility
  • Major International Treaties
    2002 WSSD in Johannesburg:
    Representatives from around the world reaffirmed their commitment to sustainable development.
    Plan of Implementation recognizes as ‘overacting objective of, and essential requirements for, sustainable development’:
    Poverty eradication
    Changing unsustainable consumption and production patterns
    Protecting and managing the natural resources base for economic and social development
  • Major International Treaties
    In 2005 UN released the Millennium Development Goals Report:
    Most countries have committed to the principles of sustainable development by incorporating them into national policies as well as agreeing to relevant international instruments.
    It also states that these good intentions have not resulted in sufficient progress to reverse the loss of environmental resources
  • The Brazilian Environmental Dilemma
    82.1% of Original cover remaining (FAO)
    Population continues to grow:
    8.2 million* (1970)
    17 million (1991)
    20 million (2000)
    The Amazon Legal remains relatively under populated in relation to other regions of the country
    * Data did not include the state of Roraima
  • The Brazilian Environmental Dilemma
    Main Causes of Deforestation:
    Clearly (2000):
    Timber extraction
    Urban expansion
    Brazilian Scientists:
    Public politics (environmental and economic)
    Institutional (fragility)
    Socio-economic (i.e.: population, income, food demand)
    All of the above are intersected and act synergistically in the deforestation of the Amazon
  • The Brazilian Environmental Dilemma
    Rayfuse on the consequences of deforestation:
    “The consequence of deforestation are practical and ecological threatening economic, agricultural, medical, moral, and aesthetic interests and, ultimately, the continued viability of life on earth”
  • The Brazilian Environmental Dilemma
    Valadares (Brazilian Diplomat) wrote in 1991:
    “How much of the Brazilian forest has been destroyed? Some say 12 percent; others say 7 percent. The Brazilian government says 5 percent.”
  • The Brazilian Environmental Dilemma
    Anthony Hall:
    “There are a few statistics in Brazil as politically contentious as those on Amazonian deforestations… Officials also use them to illustrate the alleged power of government directly to contain deforestation through the application of policy measures.”
  • The Brazilian Environmental Dilemma
    BBC News on President da Silva:
    “In a speech in Rio de Janeiro, President Lula said it was time for wealthy countries to do more to reduce gas emissions.
    He called on them to stop preaching on what to do with the Amazon rainforest.”
  • The Brazilian Environmental Dilemma
    Governor Blario Maggi:
    Governor Blario Maggi:
    "Brazilian producers are the only ones in the world who are obliged to maintain a reserve," Maggi said. "There should be a royalty for leaving those areas intact--they need to be compensated in some way."
    - On the law’s requirement 50 percent of new settled areas that are to be maintained as ‘legal reserve’
  • The Brazilian Environmental Dilemma
    Clearly (1993):
    “[The Amazon’s future is] unregulated and unregulatable, save by market mechanisms, highly volatile and sustained by a regional economy unable to generate sufficient formal sector employment.”
  • The Brazilian Environmental Dilemma
    Hall (1999):
    “Variations in deforestation rates appear to be far more sensitive to changing macroeconomic climate than to environmental controls”
    “Critics suggest that deforestation trends are not generally sensitive to environmental policy controls but are, rather, a function of macroeconomic factors such as inflation and land prices, or are condition by climatic phenomena such as the impact of El Niño in provoking forest fires.”
  • The Brazilian Environmental Dilemma
    Hirakuri’s “Can Law Save the Forest?”:
    She writes on the deficiencies of the Brazilian rule of law
    Has number of recommendations on how the law can become more efficient in terms of forestry management
    Does not grant the economic market full power in influencing rain forest matters
  • The Brazilian Environmental Dilemma
    Hirakuri’s “Can Law Save the Forest?”:
    Recommendations for the deforestation issue, illegal logging in particular:
    Factors that can be changed
    Regulatory approach
    Market-oriented approach
    Social control/consensus-oriented approach
    Factors that are more difficult to change
    Forest culture
    Forest land tenure
    Legitimacy of the government
  • The Brazilian Law and Sustainable Development
    Constitution Article 225:
    “Declares that the environment is a common heritage of the Brazilian people and entrusts the government and society with the duty to defend and preserve it for future generations” – Valadares (1991)
  • The Brazilian Law and Sustainable Development
    IBAMA :
    Stands for Brazilian Institute of the Environment and Renewable Resources
    Centralize government action concerning:
    Ecological issues
    Forestry exploitation
    Protection of ecological systems
    Came in the wake of vociferous domestic and international campaigning against accelerating deforestation and land conflict in Amazonia during the 1980s
  • The Brazilian Law and Sustainable Development
    Environmental Minister Marina Silva:
    Since the creation of IBAMA Brazil has enacted successful policies in respect to environmental protection in the Amazon.
    In 1989 there were 134 federal protection units that totaled 150 thousand square kilometers , now there are 288 federal protected unities that totals 700 thousand square kilometers (more than three times the area of Minnesota)
  • The Brazilian Law and Sustainable Development
    Hall (1999) on IBAMA:
    “In the region overall, there are some 275 IBAMA officials, or one for every 5,984 square miles .”
    “New environment minister dismissed a number of state-level IBAMA officials due to their proven involvement in illegal sales of timber from areas under their jurisdiction”
  • The Brazilian Law and Sustainable Development
    Hall (1999):
    “IBAMA had been deprived of statutory powers to enforce environmental laws. Congress had failed to authorize a measure propose in the 1988 Constitutional that would have allowed executive agencies to enforce environmental legislation. Partly as a result of this situation, IBAMA has managed to collect only six percent of fines (US$23 million) levied under the Forestry Code of 1965 ”
  • The Brazilian Law and Sustainable Development
    Law against Environmental Crimes effective from 30 March 1998
    Imposes large fines and prison sentences for a range of offences, including illegal logging
    The law has been subject to President veto as the result of powerful lobby by certain interest groups, but should nonetheless provide IBAMA with the legal teeth it has been missing
  • The Brazilian Law and Sustainable Development
    1996 Amazon Package:
    Limits forest removal on newly settled plots to 20 percent of the area, maintaining 80 percent as ‘legal reserve’
    Before, Forestry Code of 1965 maintained 50% percent of newly settlement plots as ‘legal reserve’
  • Further Research
    What sources are reliable?
    Actions of Politicians in respect to the Brazilian environmental dilemma
    What is the say of Brazilians in general on this issue, if any?
    International Community:
    What are the most recent international initiatives, treaties?
    What has been the outcome of the laws that were passed?
    What are the new laws that are being proposed?
    Are they beneficial or not?
    Should laws benefit/limit the power of NGOs?
  • Part III
    Next Topics:
    Indigenous Peoples Rights
    Sustainable Development (Economic perspective)
  • Indigenous Peoples Rights
    Broad discussion regarding the meaning of the term indigenous and its implications
    Indigenous peoples hold 33% of Amazonia Legal territory. Are their lands protected? Do they have too much land? What are they doing with their land? Should it matter? What are the datas?
    Are their voices being heard when domestic and international laws are passed?
    What are the human rights violations?
    Do they take their issues to the court?
    Can their interests intersect with sustainable development?
  • Sustainable Development (Economic perspective)
    What are the needs of the Brazilian economy in the forest?
    Who are the actors that benefiting the most with the resources available on Amazonia legal? The greater portion of society or big business? Should this be an issue?
    What are the most successful business in the Amazonia Legal region?
    What are the government’s current development programs?
    What are the politicians say on this matter?
    What is the voice of powerful interest groups that are pro-development?
    Can economic development be sensitive to indigenous peoples and the protection of the environment?
  • Part IV
    Ways of Conducting Research:
    Acess treaties
    Access Brazilian government websites
    Access to laws
    News Source (Brazilian as well as international)
    NGOs websites
    Prof. Karen Vogel
    Continue to ask questions and guidance
    Write two more literature reviews papers (one on Brazilian indigenous peoples rights and the other on sustainable economic development)
  • Works Cited
    Magraw, Daniel B., and Hawke, Lisa D. 2007. “Sustainable Development.” In The Oxford Handbook of International Environmental Law, ed. Daniel Bodansky, Jutta Bruneeé, and Ellen Hay. New York: Oxford University Press, 614.
    Pearce, David W. 1998. Economics and Environment: Essays on ecological economics and sustainable development. Northampton, Mass: Edward Elgar.
    Gould, Kenneth A. 2006. “Promoting Sustainability.” In public sociologies reader, ed. Judith Blau and Keri E. Iyvall Smith.
    Cleary, David. 2000. “Small-Scale Gold Mining in Brazilian Amazonia.” In Amazonia at the Crossroads: The Challenges of Sustainable Development, ed. Anthony Hall.
    Wallace, Scott. January 2007. Last of the Amazon. National Geographic.
    Hirakuri, Sofia R. 2003. Can Law Save the Forest?. http://www.cifor.cgiar.org/publications/pdf_files/Books/Law.pdf. (06/30/2007).
    Rayfuse, Rosemary. “Biological Resources.” In The Oxford Handbook of International Environmental Law, ed. Daniel Bodansky, Jutta Bruneeé, and Ellen Hay. New York: Oxford University Press.
    Hall, Anthony. 2000. “Environment and Development in Brazilian Amazonia: From Protectionism to Productive Conservation.” In Amazonia at the Crossroads: The Challenges of Sustainable Development, ed. Anthony Hall.
    Lutzenberger, José A. 2001. “Who is destroying the Amazon rainforest?.” In Tropical Rainforests: Latin American Nature and Society in Transition, ed. Susan E. Place. Wilmington, Del.: Scholarly Resources.
  • Part V