Removal of sand from the river Jacuí is suspended
Friday, May 17, 2013
Removal of sand from the river Jacuí is suspended
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With the claim that “the individual right must yield to the preservation of the environment”, the Federal Court suspended the activities of mining in Jacuí River. The decision of judge Damon Hack de Almeida, of the Federal Court of Porto Alegre, was released at the end of yesterday afternoon and prohibits temporarily the three companies that make the removal of the sand dredging.
The information is published by the newspaper Zero Hora, 5/16/2013.
In addition to dealing with the State Environmental Protection Foundation (Fepam), the National Department of Mineral production (DNPM) and Uniãocomo the ground, because they are responsible for monitoring, the injunction prohibits, on the basis of urgency, that the holding is maintained by the society of the Jacuí River sand miners (Smarja), by Adding Mining Company Ltd and by Aro Mineração Ltda.
The decision is the result of a public civil action filed seven years ago by Environmental Techniques and Research Association (APTA). Note that this practice of holding large cause irreparable environmental damage or difficult to repair, the judge ordered the suspension of activities for environmental protection of the river.
For judge, current activities can affect future generations
As the Press Office of the Federal Court in Rio Grande do Sul, a partial skills report formed the basis for the magistrate considers that the extraction results in prejudice to the environment. Monitoring to prove the actual damage to the rio will continue to be made. With the completion of the expert stage, the decision may be reviewed. The delay in the progress of the action would be justified by possibilities of resources available to the defense, that questioned the skills.
However, the suspension is temporary, because the definitive cancellation of licences can only be determined in the sentence. According to the order, she must remain “pending gets scientific safety that the practice of mining is still viable”. For the judge, the “maintenance of activities as has been performed cannot be tolerated because it is exacerbating the situation of Jacuí River and even to compromise your enjoyment by future generations”.
The report came into contact with the attorneys in the three companies cited as the ground into action. The lawyer Grace Castillo Pereira Martins said that the Smarja took science of ban by the press and said that the company will only manifest after knowing the content of the decision. The lawyer Amir José Finocchiaro Sarti, who defends the Sum and the Rim, said the companies will not manifest.
Sand pirates in the crosshairs
It may be mere coincidence, but it is curious that, two weeks after a large Federal Police operation against crimes on environment – among them, facilitating the granting of licences to mining in Guaíba – the Federal Court decides to prohibit sand extraction on the Jacuí River, one of the trainers of the guaibense estuary. Is that companies that are investigated in Operation Concutare, triggered by PF in April, also had now vetoed the permission to mine in Jacuí.
The public civil action which resulted in an injunction forbidding mining in Jacuí, yesterday, is 2006. A former Miner, Ilgo Koppling, was the one who gave momentum to the process, denouncing the devastation caused by extracting sand in this which is one of the largest rivers in Rio Grande do Sul. In 2007, Zero hour followed the trail of destruction and, through photos, videos and testimonials, dredges caught extracting ore criminally in the midst of the Metropolitan beaches. The work resulted in the Pirates series, with which ZH confirmed the destruction of 33 beaches and 10 point and the overthrow of 42 thousand trees that grew on the banks of the Jacuí. The Court decision is temporary and brings good and not so good. The positive side is that it can stop the sack of areas that should be protected. The bad is that the price of sand for construction should go up immediately, no doubt.
Tuesday, May 14, 2013
Concutare operation put in discussion the environmental licensing. Special interview with Paul Brack
“Announced recently that in the last 10 years, 13 Secretaries of environment occupied the folder in Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. Already had been denouncing that these positions were being used as political consolation prize that not got success in elections in the State, and were neophytes in the environment “, says the biologist.
Check out the interview.
“Crime of responsibility in public administration should be examined at all levels and punished in an exemplary manner. There is talk in other situations, in crimes of fiscal responsibility, but the social and environmental responsibility have not received the proper law “. The weighting is Paul Brack, while criticizing the Federal Court injunction that ordered release all prisoners involved in the Concutare Operation, Federal Police, accused of fraud, corruption and trafficking of influence in environmental licensing schemes in the State Department of the environment and Municipal Environment. “It was a cold water bath to the decision of the judge, who rejected the request of delegates not to coordinate the work. They justified the maintenance of prison so that there was no interference in the investigations. Unfortunately, this type of criminal has a set of well paid lawyers and prepared to dodge their customers at these times. The saddest thing is that it creates a sense of impunity, and typical of Brazil “, in the following interview, granted via email. To Brack, entrepreneurs and Governments “have subjugated the environmental area”, so the licenses are seen as “‘Licensing counters’, incrementing it if a merely bureaucratic structure of ‘ stamp and signature ‘ for a process that is often complex.
The biologist also criticizes the appointment of the new Secretary of the State Department of environment – SEMA, Wnis Pike Fraga Pereira, announced yesterday morning (5/13/2013) by Governor Tarso Genro. “Caught us in part with surprise. Initially, the Governor was informed that would give time for this appointment happens, that did not occur. Unfortunately, the political-partisan aspect prevailed again “.
Paul Brack (pictured below) has a master’s degree in Botany from the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul and doctor in ecology and Natural Resources from the Federal University of São Carlos. Since 2006 it is part of the national technical biosafety Commission (CTNBio) and represents the Gaucho Institute of Environmental Studies – Inga, in environmental State Council – Consema RS/RS.
Check out the interview.
IHU on-line-what is the operation Concutare? When and why the Federal Police started?
Paul Brack -the Concutare Operation, Federal Police – PF, which was sparked on the last day April 29, brought together some 150 federal police to thwart a scheme of environmental offences that had been investigated for about 10 months. It is crimes involving fraud, corruption and trafficking of influence in environmental licensing schemes in the State Department of Environment and Municipal Environment. Started with 24 indicted for crimes as crimes against public administration and money laundering, among other charges, resulting in temporary arrest of 18 people, among them, the respective Secretaries of environment. Is provided for the indictment of more than 50 people in PF. increasing technical Complaints of environmental agencies would have helped give the clues to disrupt this network of misdemeanors.
IHU on-line-what are the State and local agencies involved in the operation Concutare?
Paul Brack – so far, by the fact that the content of this operation is under wraps, what is known is very little. But the environment – SEMA were evident some cases of corruption in the State Foundation of Environmental Protection Luis Roessler – Fepam, corruption has already admitted by one of the technicians who had received kickbacks from the mining sector. It is also known from other employees, one of them already indicted last year by the State public attorney, for participating in license facilitation scheme in summer megaempreendimentos on the North Coast. Other municipalities would be with irregularities pointed out. In Porto Alegre, dozens of urbanistic developments also present irregularities and, at a minimum, the offense is clear, natural areas, especially in the South. It was agreed to raise the possibility of more than 40 enterprises with irregularities, including the coast.
IHU on-line-what are the main irregularities involving the granting of licences in Rio Grande do Sul?
Paul Brack -the Group would be made up of civil servants, environmental consultants and entrepreneurs. The investigated Act in obtaining and in the expedition illegal concessions of mineral permits and environmental licenses together with environmental control bodies.
On these facts already had some evidence of irregularities, for example, when we talk to State and Federal Prosecutors, through the Inga, the NGO of which I am part. This is some condos which have destroyed forests, wetlands, streams and dunes on the coast, mainly in the cities of Capão da Canoa and Xangrilá, accelerating irreversibly the transformation of landscape areas that are environmental maps of US federal and State Governments as priorities for conservation.
In the case of mining, a few kilometers from Caçapava do Sul (392), was the degradation of the landscape of hills and valleys due to mining of limestone, where huge white clouds spread through the skies, compromising the health of residents and workers in the industry. It seems that if confirmed the lack of an activity that should be monitored closely. The issues of irregular extraction of Jacuí River sand had also been raised.
IHU on-line-what this operation demonstrates on the environmental agenda in public administration?
Paul Brack -what happened is a disgrace to us Gauchos and for most of the technicians of these organs, which are honest people and committed to their work. But the reality is not only the city or the State. The environmental agenda, in Brazil and in this globalized world and “competitive,” has been abandoned or deliberately throttled, or despite of managers-some even arrested in this operation.
Announced recently that in the last 10 years, 13 Secretaries of Environment occupied the folder in. It had been reported that these positions were being used as political consolation prize that not got success in elections in the State, and were neophytes in the environment. But with the game of partisan units, soon got his appointment. This occurred at the State level and in Porto Alegre. And it is common in Brazil.
What you see is the party and the massive use of so-called positions in the Commission without the due technical requirement, often also in the second and third places. If we add the ingredients of corruption now evidenced and the gradual weakening of the environment in terms of infrastructure, personnel, salary and decent work, not to mention the economic pressures, the result is a huge disaster.
Little people know, because the big media hides, protecting the mischief that financed it. But someone will have to pay for this damage to nature, to public service and goods that belong to all. Crime of responsibility in public administration should be examined at all levels and punished in an exemplary manner. There is talk in other situations, in crimes of fiscal responsibility, but the social and environmental responsibility have not received the appropriate jurisprudence. What about the right to information, continue without it.
IHU on-line-After 10 months of investigation by the Federal Police, which culminated in the arrest of 18 people, including the Secretaries of State and Environment of Porto Alegre, the Federal Court decided to release the prisoners of Concutare Operation. What are the limits of Brazilian Justice on environmental damage? How do you see this decision?
Paul Brack -Was a cold water bath to the decision of the judge who rejected not the request of delegates that coordinate the work. They justified the maintenance of prison so that there was no interference in the investigations. Unfortunately, this type of criminal has a set of well paid lawyers and prepared to dodge their customers at these times.
The saddest thing is that it creates a sense of impunity, and typical of Brazil. If there is other strong decisions, and with the help of silence or diversion of the most important facts on the part of major media here in the South, which has put the blame on “delay in permits”, environmental trespass tends to rearrange and damage will be kept without proper accountability. Hopefully I’m wrong.
IHU on-line-the discussions around the Concutare Operation point to the need to investigate cases of corruption and prosecute those involved. However, how to restore the environmental damage caused because of these cases of corruption and undue licensing?
Paul Brack -the environmental licensing in Brazil is under suspicion for a long time. Large companies and Governments have subjugated the environmental area, using up of bullying. Moreover, played a very large and disproportionate weight in licensing, with such “licensing”, counters incrementing it if a merely bureaucratic structure “stamp and signature” for a process that is often complex.
Environments that are subject to licensing have evolutionary stories of thousands or millions of years, and the current process ends up getting disconnected from other items as priority areas for conservation, endangered species, protected areas management, monitoring and environmental management as a whole. The Government itself promotes this antiprecaução rush, for example, with the Program my house my life, which gives small, one month time limits for examination of licenses. Is pretty much the bankruptcy of environmental management at the expense of a supposedly agile licensing, which favors the sectors that have more political and economic weight. To resolve this and punish those responsible for the infringement or corruption, only with a stronger and lasting intervention by external bodies, highlighting here the MPF and MEP, as suggested by the letter of the environmentalists of Apedema and Mogdema, 4/30/2013.
IHU on-line-how to change this logic of corruption within the environmental organs?
Paul Brack- First, the crimes must be foiled in its entirety. Secondly, the public external audits should be carried out frequently and the population should require and charge, calling up for the prosecution, so that the rulers take priority due the environmental agency, fulfilling goals built with the society. The licenses require more transparency and detail information in the electronic pages of the respective bodies. Today this is very poor or non-existent.
The strengthening of the bodies is also important and the people would have to consider as a condition that they had training and flawless trajectory in the area. But it is good to bear in mind that the current economic system is a transgressor by nature. The “freedom” and the “economic growth” are glossing over the interests of those who are in his insatiable greed of infinite accumulation in their business, playing for Earth environmental care needed.
IHU on-line-the Rio Grande do Sul Government appointed doctor Wnis Pike Fraga Pereira, affiliated to the PCdoB, as new State Secretary of the environment. What this appointment means, considering that he does not belong to the environmental area?
Paul Brack -the appointment of the new Secretary of the SEMA, announced by the Governor in this may 13, day took us in part with surprise. Initially, the Governor was informed that would give time for this appointment happens, that did not occur. Unfortunately, the political-partisan aspect prevailed again. In addition, the first statements given by the indicated the Secretary – more a neophyte in the environmental area-were disastrous. Criticized the action of the Federal Police and praised alleged environmental projects of the predecessors that, in practice, do not exist in SEMA. On the other hand, we recognize the possible indication of Nilvo Silva to Fepam corresponding to a technical profile and experience in the field. However, we also hope that the Department of forests and protected areas- Defap, the central organ of SEMA, which takes care of biodiversity, can have someone prepared to the area, and not another strange that lost the elections, breaking with the old party of rigging positions, as has been happening in departments of environment.