RMA expresses its concern about changes in environmental licensing

RMA expresses its concern about changes in environmental licensing

Published On: 22 de February de 2016

The Atlantic Forest NGO Network – RMA sent a letter to the Ministry of the Environment expressing its extreme concern with the discussion process currently taking place at CONAMA (National Council for the Environment), regarding changes in environmental licensing.


Official Letter RMA 02/2016 Brasília/DF, February 12, 2016

Your Excellency Madam


Honorable Minister of the EnvironmentPresident of CONAMA-National Council for the Environment Brasília – DF

On behalf of the Atlantic Forest NGO Network – RMA, a collective of around 300 institutions that work for the conservation and restoration of this important Brazilian biome, we express our extreme concern with the discussion process that is currently taking place in CONAMA (National Council of Environment) regarding changes in environmental licensing, based on the proposed resolution sent by ABEMA (Brazilian Association of State Environmental Entities) and which is under discussion in the Working Group established within the Technical Chamber of Environmental Control.

Environmental licensing (LA) and environmental impact assessment (AIA) are very important instruments of the National Environmental Policy, established by law 6938/91, fulfilling a constitutional precept (CF, article 225) to ensure environmental quality for the present and future generations, one of the basic objectives of sustainable development, and it is up to the Public Power to regulate human interventions, with the participation of society.

These instruments, in most cases, have not been fulfilling their role effectively and satisfactorily, being treated in a notary, bureaucratic way, without social control, and thus not corresponding to the guarantee of what the constitutional precept seeks to ensure.

The desire for changes in the regulatory framework established by CONAMA through resolutions 001 and 237 will not change what it intends to improve in the operationalization of the process. The problem is much more in management, in the quality of studies and analyses, in the participation of society. The LA and the AIA should not be limited to mere technical documents, but rather to political instruments, where society's participation in collegiate bodies and public hearings and consultations must be strengthened and respected.

A type of environmental license that is proposed in the draft resolution under analysis by CONAMA, the License for Adhesion and Commitment, contradicts what the LA and EIA instruments propose, as it does not require prior studies and assessments by the Public Power of possible impacts socio-environmental aspects of enterprises and activities, not giving any guarantee to society, due to the uncertainties that this procedure can generate.

In addition, other issues that are posed or are omitted in the draft now under discussion, require a more in-depth evaluation, such as: public hearings and consultations, autonomy and independence of the AIA, participation of intervening bodies in the processes, monitoring and compliance with conditions.

Therefore, Madam Minister, we ask you to review the process established in Conama, so that a qualified debate can be held on such an important matter.

Certain of your understanding.

Yours sincerely,

Atlantic Forest NGO Network

Tania Maria Martins Santos

General coordinator

Adriano Wild

Institutional Coordinator


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