1 June 2012

Public Participation, Value Conflict and the Politics of IA - Session II, Presentation 3

Brazil: a new scenario for IA and public participation

Place:

  • Rio de Janeiro
  • Beautiful
  • Largest urban forest in the world
  • Rio +20 and World Cup
  • $181 billion in 3 years
  • 157% increase in energy demand
  • Deforestation, air pollution, health impacts from industrial facilities, oil spills
  • No tradition of urban planning
  • No history of SEA only a few done
  • big change in traditional communities
  • Governance is weak
 

Two Players:

  • A lot of rights established in 1988 constitution, EIA needed for projects likely to have major negative impacts
  • (1) Governmental Institution - ombudsman, have life tenure, recruited by government but independent from them. Role to protect and power to investigate and prosecute.
  • 2006 law to make a criminal offence to produce a misleading EIA.
  • Change in focus of the institution on reviewing externally the EIAs and enforcing EIA rules and in 2010 the state agency joined IAIA.
  • But enforcement can disempower communities because of the technical process and discourse.
  • Shouldn't just rely on litigation
  • (2) Community - in Brazil in the last two years the most controversial project only 10 objections.
  • Lack access to information, hence communities can't comment on the EIA if they are not available. Only 8% are accessible on the Internet.
  • Public hearings use the Aarhus convention about public participation.
  • Created a platform RAP to put EIA reports and all the documents that we generate in relation to litigation, etc and enable people to comment online and take these forward to appropriate fora.
  • Communicating through small documentarys and using Ustream and YouTube and social media. Filiming the sessions where permits are agree to.
The Road:

  • Need to empower communities, engage society and give them a voice or bring their values into the decision king process.
  • Combined approaches and combined actors.
  • Import and export governance and not just pollution.
 

Q&A

Is there the same movement in other states and at federal level?

  • We are advocating to other states to use the approach we have developed.
  • We have a link on the website with a link to other states as a call to other states to develop a website similar to ours.
  • There is enthusiasm in other states and other countries in South America.
Really hard to engage young people, have you considered them in your approach?

  • There is a universe of options and strategies.
  • Looking at gamification of the website as a way of reaching young people, we are working with other institutions to look at reaching the widest numb of people.