| Nov 12, 2021
Building coalition to protect the Amazon
Water contamination by mining
Building capacity and dialog
Together with our partners, we held a two-day seminar that brought together various legal, civil society, and public administration actors involved in the licensing of Belo Sun mine. We provided the opportunity for people from the Secretaria de Meio Ambiente e Sustentabilidade Pará (Semas) and Brazilian Institute of the Environment and Renewable Natural Resources (IBAMA) to speak, and during the interaction the coalition demonstrated their strength and reinforced the fact that the decision to license Belo Sun was only political. The Semas representative did not respond to our arguments about the problems with the environmental impact studies. A part of the seminar was dedicated to a prior consultation workshop with the Volta Grande riparian communities, which was very empowering because the leaders affirmed that they wanted to carry out their autonomous consultation protocols. And finally, the analyses of the defenders and prosecutors showed the lack of legality, transparency, and coherence of Semas and other governmental institutions.
Supporting legal actions
The Public Defender's Office initiated a lawsuit against Belo Sun as a response to a technical report presented by AIDA that points out several flaws in the analysis of impacts and area of coverage of the mining project. The Defenders’ office is requesting that the mining project's licenses be annulled since the necessary studies were not carried out with respect to the affected riverside communities. These communities were not consulted either, which would justify the nullity of the licenses. AIDA, together with International Rivers and ISA, prepared an amicus brief to support the defense of the riparian communities represented. We contributed with a technical document in response to Belo Sun's arguments that seek to hide the flaws of the project with arguments of authority, refusing to respond objectively to our questions about the chosen methodologies, studies on the cumulative impact of the dam, and possible failures of the tailings dam and contamination of the river. In addition, we made a contribution of legal analysis that justifies the annulment of the license given to the project due to the lack of adequate consultation with the traditional communities that inhabit the Xingu.
Calling for international action
In an action to denounce the government of Pará to the COP, last week we drafted a letter of concern addressed to the governments that are part of the LEAF Coalition and GIZ, which were about to sign an agreement to send resources for green policies to the state of Pará. In our letter we made clear the contradiction between the governor's promises and the actual environmental policy of the state. The letter seeks to hold the funding governments accountable for establishing clear and objective criteria so that their resources are not used in a way that perpetuates the current predatory practice in the state. The letter had the support of the deputies Vivi Reis and Marinor Brito, as well as the indigenous Alessandra Munduruku, who delivered the letter at the COP signing event.