The Attorney General’s Office officiated the Ministers of the Environment, Joaquim Leite, and of Mines and Energy, Bento Albuquerque, in addition to the Federal Attorney General, Bruno Bianco Leal, demanding information about the decree that changes the rules for the protection of caves, authorizing interventions for works and undertakings considered to be of public utility. The measure criticized by experts, who point to the risk of destroying hundreds of caves and thousands of species that live in them – in addition to the risk of new epidemics and pandemics.
From the Ministries, the Prosecutor’s Office asked the normative history of the subject, including changes in 1990, 2008 and 2022, with the reasons that led to the changes and the evaluation of the results and impacts of the same. From the AGU, the Federal Public Ministry requested ‘preliminary considerations on the constitutionality’ of the decree.
According to the MPF, the information will be analyzed by the Constitutional Advisory Office of the Attorney General of the Republic Augusto Aras with the objective of subsidizing action before the Federal Supreme Court in the case. The Rede Sustentabilidade party has already triggered the highest court asking for the immediate suspension of the decree signed by President Jair Bolsonaro, classifying it as an ‘environmental setback’.
Also according to the Attorney General’s Office, the official documents were signed on Monday, the 17th. On that date, the Environment and Cultural Heritage Chamber of the Federal Public Ministry officiated Aras and the Attorney General’s Office in the Federal District to evaluate the adoption of measures against the rule in Justice.
The Attorney General’s Office in the Federal District has already opened a civil inquiry into the matter, to analyze the possibility of questioning the decree in the first instance.
According to the Chamber of Environment and Cultural Heritage of the Federal Public Ministry, the decree signed by President Jair Bolsonaro reduces the protection of Brazilian caves, allows the destruction of cavities considered relevant and threatens untouched areas. According to the group, the rule did not observe constitutional principles such as the prohibition of environmental setbacks.
“We are faced with a regulation that further weakens the system of protection of the speleological heritage, which may cause its drastic reduction with serious damage to the Union and to all holders of the right to natural heritage”, said Deputy Attorney General of the Republic Julieta Albuquerque in document sent to the PGR and the MPF-DF.
The PGR reported that the theme of the decree has been the subject of analysis by the Federal Public Ministry since last year, also indicating that meetings were held between representatives of the Ministry of Mines and Energy (MME) and the Coordination and Review Chambers related to the matter. Recalling that the country has around 30,000 underground cavities, with different characteristics, Aras stated that “the adequate protection of this heritage demands complex analyzes and actions”.
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