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The new tragedy of Santa Catarina

Tuesday 31 March 2009, by Marina Silva

At the end of 2008, images of the great tragedy of Santa Catarina¹ impregnated with pain and perplexity eyes and hearts of all Brazilians. Floods happen, but the impact was much greater because of the systematic destruction of the environment in the state, national champion of deforestation of the remaining rainforest in the last decade.

Now, precisely more tomorrow, new tragedy threatens Santa Catarina and Brazil. This time it is political. The Legislative Assembly will vote, in a mega schedule a of aggressive propaganda against the environmentalists, a bill that incredibly aims, among other absurdities, reduce the range of protection of riparian forests on the banks of the courses d ’water, from 30 to only 5 meters!

Since 2001 there are initiatives to develop a state environmental code. In 2006, the productive sector entities recommended that it is based on "land structure of the state and its regional peculiarities." What does this mean there is now.

Throughout 2007, discussions coordinated by the state environmental agency (Foundation of the Environment of Santa Catarina - FATMA) resulted in the proposal sent to the Secretariat of Maintainable Development and solemnly delivered to the governor in March 2008. Since then, government and members of the disfigured the text so that it can be called the Code Anti-environmental.

Withdraw powers and responsibilities of state agencies in environmental protection, protected areas and reduces attack on the Constitution and federal law, a genuine civil disobedience to back, on behalf of an alleged development. Good times in civil disobedience that was practiced in favor of society.

This type of development we already know the results, both in global and in local, as you well know the catarinense (people of Santa Catarina ) who lost their families and homes in the floods of 2008.

Where they want to reach? Impossible not join the case in Santa Catarina with the repeated attempts in Congress, to change the Forest Code to relax environmental standards.. As the pressure of society and the attention of national media have tied these joints in Brasilia, it is now for a strategy to undermine the code in the states, focusing on the accomplished fact of "state laws" in order to disfigure the federal legislation.

Santa Catarina has the password to break the door. Now is the time to know of which the substance is done the brazilian State.

¹ Santa Catarina is a state in Brazil. It is situated in the southern part of the country. The capital of this Brazilian state is Florianópolis.

Marina Silva is the former federal Minister of evironment of Brazil