Environment Acts Issue by Brazilian Government Exploded during Height of Covid-19 Pandemic

Survey shows explosion of Executive acts on environmental issues between March and May and indicates cattle defended by Salles

The Bolsonaro government issued more environment acts during the peak of Brazil's Covid-19 pandemic than any other period.

A Folha survey in partnership with the Talanoa Institute shows that, between March and May this year, the Federal Executive published 195 measures in the Official Gazette - including ordinances, normative instructions, decrees, and other standards - related to the environmental theme. In the same months of 2019, only 16 acts were published.

That is, the number of measures this year is 12 times higher than in 2019.

Brazil's Environment Minister Ricardo Salles attends a launching ceremony of the basic sanitation legal framework at the Planalto Palace, in Brasilia, Brazil July 15, 2020. REUTERS/Adriano Machado - REUTERS

The Executive's acts, in general, serve to direct compliance with laws and complement their application. However, the analysis also points out that a part of these infralegal measures tried to change the legislation's understanding.

The result of the survey is in line with what the Minister of the Environment, Ricardo Salles, defended at the ministerial meeting on April 22, the content of which was made public in May, after a decision by the Supreme Federal Court.

"We need to make an effort here while we are at this moment of tranquility in terms of press coverage because we only talk about Covid, and change all the rules and simplify rules," said Salles at the meeting.

Entities linked to the environment and specialists saw his declaration as a confession that the Minister sought, through infralegal acts, to dismantle the environmental policies provided for by law - and whose amendment, therefore, should pass through the Legislative Branch.

Translated by Kiratiana Freelon

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