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Law and Policy in Brazil: Protecting the Rainforest and Enhancing Communities
Unformatted Document Text:  different factors countering its enactment. 122 Article 14 of the National Environmental Protection Law is an example of this. The law, according to Kellman, establishes harsh financial penalties for those who violate it. 123 This law, in spite of its strength on paper, is not implemented. 124 José Paulo Sepúlveda Pertence, Chief Justice of the Federal Supreme Court of Brazil, highlighted the tensions between a conservative legal culture and its intersection with the need for economic development that results in lack of accountability of environmental regulations. 125 The Saint Louis Law Journal also published a study of Brazil’s legal system that revealed that the Brazilian judicial branch has the tendency to side with corporations. 126 Dantas and Leite, Brazilian law Professors from the Southern Region of Brazil, see Brazil’s legal system more positively by acknowledging Article 225 of the Brazilian Constitution as a step forward toward reaching environmental preservation 127 since it imposes criminal and civil liabilities to those who violate the law. 128 Fernando C. Walcacer, also a Brazilian law Professor, supports Dantas and Leite by affirming that the Brazilian 1988 Federal Constitution reveals new opportunities for success in respect to the effectiveness of the rule of law. 129 Walcacer also writes about the Brazilian Environmental Crime Act of 1998 (No. 960.5/98) and describe it as “huge breakthrough for the guarantee of rights for our future generations. 130 ” He also said that a chapter of the Environmental Crimes Act elevates the degree of criminal liability of actions that are harmful to the environment such as deforestation of areas under the protection of the government as well as any damage to the nature that are within conservation unites. 131 The Environmental Crimes Act also expands the application of criminal liability to parties that are indirectly involved with deforestation such as “those transporting, selling, storing wood and other vegetable products without proper licensing, as well as those trading or using unlicensed chainsaws 132 ” Much like Dantas and Leite, Walcacer offers little evidence that these laws are being effectively implemented. These laws depend on the judiciary and on the environmental agencies in order to succeed. IBAMA (Brazilian Environment and Renewable Resources Institute) is the governmental agency responsible for defending the forest. IBAMA struggles because of lack of funding and human resources. 133 Of the Ministry of the Environment 1.6 billion budget, in 1998, only $8 million was allocated to the IBAMA. 134 The specific budget for the environmental protection program is expected to decrease from $492 million to $367- in the 1999 budget. 135 This lack of funding and human resources explains the continuing deforestation in the region. A study of Latin American countries revealed that “weak enforcement seems to be caused more by a lack of human and financial resources and institutional capacity than by lack of adequate legislation. 136 ” International Organizations and bodies also have an impact on deforestation. Organizations like the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank invested heavily in development in the rainforest by providing funds for the conversion of “millions of acres of tropical rainforest and cropland to pasture land to raise cattle for the international beef market 137 ” The IMF no longer continues this practice, but the damage that it has cause is evident. Transnational 17

Authors: da Fonseca, Joao. and Vogel, Karen.
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different factors countering its enactment.
Article 14 of the National
Environmental Protection Law is an example of this. The law, according to
Kellman, establishes harsh financial penalties for those who violate it.
This law,
in spite of its strength on paper, is not implemented.
José Paulo Sepúlveda
Pertence, Chief Justice of the Federal Supreme Court of Brazil, highlighted the
tensions between a conservative legal culture and its intersection with the need for
economic development that results in lack of accountability of environmental
regulations.
The Saint Louis Law Journal also published a study of Brazil’s
legal system that revealed that the Brazilian judicial branch has the tendency to
side with corporations.
Dantas and Leite, Brazilian law Professors from the Southern Region of
Brazil, see Brazil’s legal system more positively by acknowledging Article 225 of
the Brazilian Constitution as a step forward toward reaching environmental
preservation
since it imposes criminal and civil liabilities to those who violate
the law.
Fernando C. Walcacer, also a Brazilian law Professor, supports
Dantas and Leite by affirming that the Brazilian 1988 Federal Constitution
reveals new opportunities for success in respect to the effectiveness of the rule of
law.
Walcacer also writes about the Brazilian Environmental Crime Act of
1998 (No. 960.5/98) and describe it as “huge breakthrough for the guarantee of
rights for our future generations.
He also said that a chapter of the
Environmental Crimes Act elevates the degree of criminal liability of actions that
are harmful to the environment such as deforestation of areas under the protection
of the government as well as any damage to the nature that are within
conservation unites.
The Environmental Crimes Act also expands the
application of criminal liability to parties that are indirectly involved with
deforestation such as “those transporting, selling, storing wood and other
vegetable products without proper licensing, as well as those trading or using
unlicensed chainsaws
Much like Dantas and Leite, Walcacer offers little
evidence that these laws are being effectively implemented.
These laws depend on the judiciary and on the environmental agencies in
order to succeed. IBAMA (Brazilian Environment and Renewable Resources
Institute) is the governmental agency responsible for defending the forest.
IBAMA struggles because of lack of funding and human resources.
Of the
Ministry of the Environment 1.6 billion budget, in 1998, only $8 million was
allocated to the IBAMA.
The specific budget for the environmental protection
program is expected to decrease from $492 million to $367- in the 1999 budget.
This lack of funding and human resources explains the continuing deforestation in
the region. A study of Latin American countries revealed that “weak enforcement
seems to be caused more by a lack of human and financial resources and
institutional capacity than by lack of adequate legislation.
International Organizations and bodies also have an impact on
deforestation. Organizations like the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the
World Bank invested heavily in development in the rainforest by providing funds
for the conversion of “millions of acres of tropical rainforest and cropland to
pasture land to raise cattle for the international beef market
The IMF no longer
continues this practice, but the damage that it has cause is evident. Transnational
17


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