Brazil, the largest country in Latin America and fifth in the world in land area, comprising 8,511,996 km ², with climate zones ranging from humid tropical to temperate and semi-arid areas, is certainly the country that has the highest biodiversity patrimoino (for not mention the sociobiodiversidad) from the planet. Over 16% of Brazilian territory corresponding to areas of environmental protection (being 5.22% in federal conservation units, such as parks and ecological reserves and extraction, and 11.12% in indigenous areas).
Proper management of this immense environmental heritage is complex, which is why the National Environment Policy, purpose and design and implementation mechanisms are arranged in specific law, Law No. 6938 of August 31, 1981.
The National Environmental Policy aims at the preservation, improvement and restoration of environmental quality conducive to life, with a view to ensuring, in the country, conditions, socio-economic development, the interests of national security and the protection of the dignity of human life, taking the following principles:
- government action in the maintenance of ecological balance, considering the environment as a public good necessarily be secured and protected, taking into account the collective use;
- rationalizing the use of soil, subsoil, water and air;
- planning and monitoring the use of environmental resources;
- protection of ecosystems, the preservation of representative areas;
- control and scope of activities;
- incentives to study and research oriented technologies for the rational use and protection of environmental resources;
- Accompanying the state of environmental quality;
- recovery of degraded areas;
- protection of areas threatened with degradation;
- environmental education at all levels of education, including community education, in order to train for active participation in environmental protection.
As a means of formulating the National Environmental Policy, Law No. 6938, established the National Environment Council (CONAMA), collegial decision-making body, chaired by the Minister of State for the Environment, Water and Legal Amazon (MMA) and included representatives from other sectoral ministries, state governments, Federal District, National Confederation of Workers in Industry, Trade and Agriculture, among others. For policy implementation, establishing the National Environment System (SISNAMA), composed of the organs and institutions of the Union of States, Federal District, municipalities and foundations instituted by the Government, responsible for protection and improvement of environmental quality, having as its parent body the National Environment Council.
They are considered as instruments of the National Environmental Policy setting environmental quality standards, the environmental constraint, the environmental impact assessment, the review of the licensing and activities actually or potentially polluting incentives for production and installation of equipment and the creation or easily remove technology with the aim of improving environmental quality, the establishment of reserves, ecological parks and environmental protection areas by the Government Federal, State and Municipal, the national information system on environment; federal technical consensus of activities and instruments and environmental advocacy, disciplinary penalties or compensation to non-compliance of the measures necessary to preserve or correction of environmental degradation.
The 1988 Constitution introduced for the first time in American history, a chapter on environment, considering it as a common good of the people and essential to the healthy quality of life, imposing upon the Government and the community the duty preserved for present and future generations.
Nationally, as a result of the Unit Nations Conference for Environment and Development (Rio 1992) was created, within the Ministry of Planning and Budget, by Decree No. 1160 of 21 June 1994, the Interministerial Commission on Sustainable Development (CIDES), having among its main objectives to promote compatibility between the main chapters of Agenda 21 programs and advise the President to make decisions on strategies and policies necessary for the development maintained in accordance with Agenda 21. In the field of competition is proposition of strategies, policies and legal instruments necessary for the implementation of planned activities in Agenda 21 and obligations under international agreements and conventions (relating to sustainable development), along with criteria and priorities national to obtain financial, technical and technological resources for the implementation of Agenda 21.
In Brazil, environmental issues are taking new directions, surpassing heroic and resistant stage in which environmentalism and developmentalism were regarded as opponents. In this sense, the internalization of new concepts of sustained development began a new cycle, based on the development and implementation of environmental policies and in the search negotiation and understanding between environmental preservation and production processes.
In this phase, the MMA has played an important and indispensable role to give special emphasis to the inclusion of the environmental dimension in public policy decisions being expressive examples:
- Green Protocol as the institutional mechanism of introduction of the environmental variable as criteria in the decisions of economic policy and project financing by official development agencies. It is expected that private financing agents come to adhere to the system, consolidating definitely.
- involvement in the productive sector and other civil society actors, through negotiation and dialogue oriented to the practice of sustainable use of natural resources.
In this direction, the Government has encouraged and oriendato adopting a policy of co-responsibility through dialogue, persuasion and the formation of conscience in society for the practice of optimal management of natural resources. Today, Brazilian entrepreneurs are gradually assuming their responsibilities before the issue of environmental preservation and sustainable development. Examples of this approach are highlighted Brazil’s participation in the discussions and the gradual adoption by the domestic industry, in the opinion of the ISO 14,000.
In regard to the decentralization of its activities, the Ministry has adopted a package of measures seeking to transfer, in whole or in part, states, municipalities and non-governmental organizations and other public and private planning and implementation of environmental policies . Examples are cited as 240 projects funded by the National Environment Fund and implemented in an entirely decentralized.
Another program that deepens the sense of interaction between the Federal Government and the States is called Decentralisation Implementation Programme. Through it, the States selected demonstration projects of sustainable development, which are funded by the Ministry. What is the program assumes that these states are enabled through the creation of a whole institutional structure and administrative and technical directed to environmental management. Eleven States of the Federation and were credentialed in this program.
RELEVANT PROGRAMS AND PROJECTS IN THE AREA OF THE ENVIRONMENT
The MMA developed the following programs and projects:
- Program Evaluation of the Potential of the Living Resources of the Exclusive Economic Zone – REVIZEE Program, in order to inventory all living marine resources and the environmental characteristics of their events, determine their biomass potentials and establish sustainable harvest;
- Coastal Management National Plan – PNGC, in order to develop the sort of use and occupation of the coastal region of Brazil with a view to sustainable development;
- National Biodiversity Programme – PRONABIO, contemplating the implementation of the Conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity – PROBIO, with the cooperation of the CNPq and the implementation of the Brazilian Biodiversity Fund – FUNBIO, by the Getulio Vargas Foundation;
- Pilot Program for the Protection of Tropical Forests of Brazil – PPG-7, with the aim of making feasible the implementation of projects in order to obtain and demonstrate models for sustainable development of tropical forests;
- National Environment Programme – PNMA, which seeks to strengthen institutional bodies responsible for the actions on the environment state and local level, promoting the development of management tools and mechanisms and measures to protect ecosystems and render viable the implementation of mechanisms of market analysis to environmental management and sustainable use of natural resources.
BY WAY OF CONCLUSION
Five points define, in short, the essence of the government’s actions in the area of Environment and Water Resources:
- the introduction of environmental issues in economic policies and programs of government, whose most significant example is the green Protocol;
- the development of an Integrated National Policy for the Legal Amazon, with a view to the reorientation of economic growth in the region, mostly internal and external integration and enhancement of the Amazon people;
- acceleration of the internalization of external resources contracted through the PPG-7 program, Program PNMA and National Environment Fund;
- the implementation of a decentralized management model and shared water resources;
- implementing the Special Programme and Unfinished Works taken up for use both hydro and the increased supply of water in the semi-arid Northeast.