STF unanimously restores protection to mangroves and salt marshes

Unanimously, the STF (Supreme Federal Court) restored this Tuesday () norms for the protection of restingas and mangroves. The guard had been overthrown by Conama (National Council for the Environment) in 2020, then chaired by former Minister of Environment Ricardo Salles.

Second the decision of the STF, the resolution 500, of Conama, is unconstitutional. The sentence is the result of two allegations of non-compliance with a fundamental precept, one requested by the PT (Workers’ Party) and the other by the Sustainability Network.

In September 2020, Conama —already restructured by the Jair Bolsonaro (PL) government and with greater decision-making power in the hands of the federal sphere — approved the resolution 500, which revoked the resolutions 284/2001, 14/2002 and 303/2002.

The revocation drew attention because the resolutions 302 and 302 affect APPs (Permanent Preservation Areas). A 284 deals with the edges of urban springs (such as the Billings Dam, in São Paulo). The one 303, on coastal strips, such as mangroves and restingas —both areas of great importance for preservation, due to the environmental services they provide.

Finally, the resolution 284 dealt with environmental licensing for irrigation.

Revocation of 302 and 302 directly benefited real estate projects close to beaches, known as “foot on the sand”.

*)Conama’s decision almost immediately began to be challenged in the courts, being suspended, at the end of September, and already taking effect in the first days of October 2002.

At the end of the same month, however, Minister Rosa Weber, granted an injunction that suspended the resolution 302 until the judgment of the actions required by the PT and by the Sustainability Network.

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