Report on mining in Indian lands will be disclosed after elections

 

9/21/2012 14:44

Report on mining in Indian lands will be disclosed after elections

Lack of regulation on the subject makes the emergence of illegal mines, says the rapporteur.

Leonardo Prado
Edio Lopes
Lee: it is up to Congress whether or not applications for mineral exploration.

The report of the Special Committee that examines the regulation of mineral exploration on indigenous lands should be presented after the first round of municipal elections at the end of the first half of October. The rapporteur, Mr Nathanael Lee (PMDB-RR), has completed the first three chapters of the substitutive to Bill 1610/96, of the Senate, but still receives suggestions from civil society before completing the text.

The subject has been discussed in Congress for over 15 years. According to the rapporteur, the main quest, to draw up the draft, has been the balance between the different interests involved. “The goal is that the country can exploit the minerals and huge deposits that are in the basement of the indigenous lands, while they are guaranteed the rights of the people of the areas involved,” he says. The Federal Constitution admits mining activity on indigenous lands, but the constitutional provision requires regulation through law.

According to Lee, to guarantee the rights of indigenous peoples, the replacement will provide for: public consultation on these people regarding mineral exploration on their lands; the participation of the indigenous community in the outcome of the lavra; and the Congressional authorization for the activity.

Substitute As part of the report has already disclosed, the research and the exploitation of mineral resources in indigenous lands shall be authorised by the National Department of Mineral production (DNPM), by request of the company concerned or on the initiative of the Executive branch. The DPNM shall publish notice to receive proposals for research and exploitation in the area required, and the National Indian Foundation (Funai) promote public consultation with indigenous occupants of the desired areas for mining. The winner will be the company’s proposal to offer affected communities the highest participation percentage over the results of the lavra and the greatest social and economic compensation.

If there is no agreement of the indigenous peoples affected, the case will be referred to a Committee, with representatives from Funai deliberative, DPNM, Brazilian Institute of environment and renewable natural resources (Ibama), the House and Senate, in order to decide on the best alternative for communities.

Disclosure/Agency Brazil
Direitos Humanos e Minorias - Índios
Indian authorities want the views of affected communities be respected.

The winning proposal will be forwarded to the analysis of a Joint Committee formed by deputies and senators. The opinion of the Board, then, must be assessed in the joint session of Congress. “Many want the public consultation to indigenous peoples is terminative, but understand that this Conference has the role of guidance to Congress, and this is the final decision whether or not to allow mining in certain area,” explains the Narrator. “This is one of the things that attracts a lot of discussion”, he adds.

The only kind of public consultation is precisely one of the devices was criticized by the socioenvironmental Institute (ISA), an association that acts in defense of indigenous rights in Brazil. Understanding the ISA’s lawyer, Ana Paula Souto Maior, if the indigenous community consulted don’t want mineral exploration on their lands, the decision should be Senator, thus avoiding that the process will be forwarded to a Committee by the community decide how deliberative is provided for in the substitutive. “This is not a full dialogue; is an arbitrary act that does not comply with the objectives of the public consultation, “says the lawyer. “Listen, consult entails deciding from what was exposed by the community,” she adds.

Subsidies To prepare its opinion, the Rapporteur visited, along with other members of the Special Committee, three countries to see how they regulate the matter: Australia, Canada and Ecuador. In addition, in Brazil, were heard different indigenous communities. Lee highlights the audience in São Gabriel da Cachoeira (AM), attended by about 400 indigenous leaders from 12 ethnic groups.

ISA’s lawyer argues that in a next step, the substitute is placed on public consultation for indigenous organizations, with time, to present its proposal.

Continues:

  • For membership, the rules must be included in the Statute of indigenous peoples

Full proposal:

  • PL-1610/1996
Reportage-Lara Haje Editing-Marcelo Oliveira

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