São Paulo Deputy-elect Marina Silva was sworn in Wednesday as Brazil's new Environment Ministry, almost 15 years after leaving that office during President Luiz Inácio Lula Da Silva's second term in office.
During a crowded ceremony at the Planalto Palace, Silva delivered a speech that lasted about an hour. Se underlined that Brazil has become an environmental pariah and that, in the last few years, there has been an emptying of climate change policies and of structures to combat deforestation.
Silva also announced the creation of the National Authority for Climate Security, an autonomous agency to be linked to the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change, which will however keep the acronym MMA.
The creation of the National Authority for Climate Security was a proposal brought by Marina during the elections and welcomed by the then-candidate Lula. According to the minister, the project should be constituted by the end of March. There will also be a government council exclusively to deal with the issue, under the command of the President of the Republic.
By March of this year, the creation of the National Authority for Climate Security will be formalized, within the Ministry of the Environment, in addition to the creation of a council on climate change, to be headed by the president of the Republic himself, and with the participation of all the ministries that are now on this Esplanade, the civil society, the states and municipalities. The council will be the central locus of concertation and agreement of Brazilian policies on climate change and will go beyond the federal sphere, she said.
The climate emergency imposes itself. We want to highlight what is the greatest global challenge currently facing humanity. Countries, people, and ecosystems are increasingly unable to cope with the consequences. It is proven that the poorest are the most affected, argued the minister.
In the new ministerial structure instituted by decree this week, the National Secretary of Climate Change was recreated, which includes a department of ocean policy and coastal management.
About the National Authority, which will deal with climate emergencies, Silva explained that its purpose will be to produce subsidies for the execution and implementation of the national climate policy, to regulate and monitor the implementation of actions related to the policies and sectoral targets for mitigation, adaptation, promotion of resilience to climate change, and to supervise instruments, programs, and actions for the implementation of the national policy on climate change and its sectoral plans. The government's decision is that the design of this agency will be submitted to the National Congress by the end of April, she announced.
Silva opened her speech by criticizing the restructuring suffered by the MMA in recent years when it lost its functions to other portfolios. What we have seen is a profound process of emptying and weakening of environmental agencies. The MMA lost the Brazilian Forest Service and the National Water Agency. The area of policies for promoting the sustainable use of sociobiodiversity and extractivism, practiced by traditional peoples and communities, were also displaced from the MMA. The minister also thanked and honored public servants and parliamentarians who worked in the resistance against the dismantling of the environmental agenda.
Departments for the execution of the national water resources policy and for the protection and defense of animal rights were also created. The government of president Lula, with the decree of the new structure of the MMA, puts an end to the usurpation of these functions that had the objective, in fact, to weaken public management in the environmental area, she also noted.
The Brazilian Institute of Environment and Renewable Natural Resources (Ibama), the Chico Mendes Institute of Biodiversity (ICMBio), the Botanical Garden of Rio de Janeiro, the Brazilian Forest Service, the National Water Agency (ANA), and, in the future, the National Authority for Climate Security will be linked to the ministry, it was reported.
The minister also announced the creation of the Extraordinary Secretary for the Control of Deforestation and Land and Territorial Planning. Silva has repeatedly spoken of the need for the environmental policy to be executed in a transversal way among the different portfolios. She promised to resume the National Conference on the Environment and also the Children and Youth Conference on the Environment. I want to
resume our commitment and recognition of social participation as a strategic element of the Brazilian State's performance in its relationship with society.
Silva also defended the need for international partnerships and the insertion of Brazil in the multilateral agenda, so that the country is no longer seen as an environmental pariah but as a strategic partner in the production of sustainable goods.
(Source: Agencia Brasil)