Carlos Bocuhy and other green advocates say Conama’s restructuring erodes civil society’s role in environmental oversight.
Civil society members of Brazil’s National Environment Council (Conama), the country’s main environmental policy-making body, are condemning a new decree under which the administration of President Jair Bolsonaro has tightened its control over the panel. Issued on May 28, the presidential decree dramatically downsizes Conama from 93 voting members to 23, and in doing so gives federal government officials greater say at the expense of civil-society representatives such as environmental and human rights advocates, indigenous leaders, scientists and academics. Once the downsizing takes effect in late June, Conama will include 10 representatives of the federal government, an increase in the federal membership share to 44% from 30%; five state-government members, a decrease to 7% from 22%; two municipal officials, a 0.10% increase; four civil society members, a relative decline to 17% from 24%; and two representatives of the business sector, a decrease of only 0.10%. The changes... [Log in to read more]