Two internal dispatches by the President of Ibama (Brazilian Institute for Environment and Renewable Natural Resources), Eduardo Fortunato Bim, have increased the return of illegal timber in Brazil and the opportunities for irregular exports of timber from endangered species. Die out.
According to Ibama technicians, who Folha heard on condition of anonymity, there was also a decrease in inspections of the product in the locomotive, in the ports, before it was shipped to other countries.
This Tuesday (17th), President Jair Bolsonaro (no party) said at a virtual meeting of the BRICS Summit, a bloc that brings together Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa that he will publish a list of countries that are illegal Import wood. although they criticize the country for deforestation in the Amazon.
The first order was signed by Bim on November 14, 2019. He agreed to the agreement that a buyer of wood with the DOF (Document of Forestry Origin) cannot be held responsible if the document is later found fraudulent.
Therefore Ibama inspectors cannot hold this buyer responsible “without evidence of involvement or awareness of the illegality”.
The order does not initially refer to the confiscation of the wood, but only to the release from liability. Then the understanding was broadened by the Directorate of Environmental Protection to prevent the concern as well. Bim had no objection.
In practice, according to the technicians heard in the report, this resulted in the persistence and turnover of illegal timber in the market. Decrease in caution by buyers; and Ibama’s loss of inspection power.
“If there is trust in the Ibama system and in the DOF, then everything is assumed to be in order. São Paulo, for example, is the largest timber buyer in Pará. And if there is no evidence of fraud, nothing goes wrong. Purchase operation” Ibama’s president told Folha.
Bim confirmed that the order initially only related to accountability.
Then, through a board member of the agency, there was an expansion of understanding as early as 2020, which prevented the seizure of illegal wood if the buyer’s involvement in the fraud is not proven. “I might not agree, but I haven’t changed the process,” he said.
The second internal regulation of the President of Ibama, affecting the system to combat illegality in the timber trade, was signed on February 25 of this year, the Tuesday of the Carnival.
A design mandate from Bim eliminated the need for a permit to export timber, which only required DOF.
The opinion even removed the need for approval for all species, including endangered species.
The measure was in place for at least 45 days, easing the rules for exporting timber from species of the Amazon flora that are threatened with disappearing. A new opinion excluded these types from the flexibility imposed.
“The opinion did not mention Article 9, which deals with these endangered species. As it did not, it did not seem necessary [da autorização de exportação, além do DOF]”Said Bim to Folha.
The President of Ibama therefore decided to correct this understanding by collecting the export license for these species. “In these cases the additional control could not be relinquished,” he said. The rest were exempt from the double check.
Export permits are issued for critically endangered species, as provided for in a 2014 Ministry of Environment ordinance, as well as species that meet international requirements.
In Pará there are around 3,000 export processes per year. Cases of endangered species represent 10% to 15% of these processes.
The on-site inspections in the ports have been reduced, according to the technicians. The inspection has been reduced to an analysis of the export documents inserted into the electronic system.
For the President of Ibama there is no link between the on-site inspection and his dispatch in February. “I have no idea whether the inspection in the ports has declined. Our inspection was already carried out after spot checks.”
According to Bim, the shipping allowed the inspection sector to conduct intelligence work with the ability to act weeks before the timber was delivered to port. “I don’t see any relationship between the two things [entre o despacho e a diminuição das vistorias]”said.
Ibama’s president is a trusted man of the Environment Minister Ricardo Salles. The two act together in the behavior of the environmental authority.
Ibama’s new understanding of wood exports has been challenged in a lawsuit by ISA (Instituto Socioambiental), Greenpeace Brasil and the Brazilian Association of Members of the Public Environment Ministry in the Amazon Federal Supreme Court.
Ibama claims to have made two preliminary (preliminary) decisions in his favor in the lawsuit.