Environmental Orgs Protest against Possible Oil Exploration of Marine Park in Bahia

38 Oil Blocks are up for auction

Luisa Leite
Rio de Janeiro

Environmental protection agencies protested on Wednesday (10) against the auction of oil blocks that may lead to the exploration and production of oil in Abrolhos, Bahia—a marine park known for its biodiversity.

These blocks are listed in the first Jair Bolsonaro (PSL) government auction, which will offer 36 blocks in five basins: Camamu Almeida, Campos, Jacuípe, Pernambuco-Paraíba, and Santos.

ABROLHOS, BA, 17.01.2017: TURISMO-BA - Abrolhos archipelago. (Foto: Carolina Muniz/Folhapress) - Folhapress

Of the 38, seven blocks located in Jacuípe and Camamu Almeida would be in a region of environmental risk. Together, the blocks are estimated to have a potential revenue of R$ 3.2 billion (US$ 833 million).

Activists from 350.org, Coesus, and Instituto Internacional Arayara attended the public hearing of the National Oil and Gas Agency (ANP) to discuss the auction.

According to environmentalists, the IBAMA authorized the bidding of the blocks in absentia of the technical area of the institute.

"IBAMA was upset. It was a purely political decision, not technical,” said Renan Andrade, environmental manager of the Arayara Institute.

Artur Watt Neto, the deputy general prosecutor for exploration and production of ANP,  said that only the final opinion issued by the IBAMA was taken into account.

"The ANP is separate from IBAMA. We follow the recommendation as a whole, not considering internal debates,” he said.

Translated by Kiratiana Freelon

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