Brazil | Supreme court says executive branch can’t reduce size of PAs on its own
In a ruling welcomed by environmentalists, Brazil’s Supreme Court decided unanimously on 5 April that it was unconstitutional for the executive branch to have used MP 558, a Provisional Measure (Medida Provisória), to reduce the size of seven conservation units by 100,000 hectares (247,000 acres). Five of the units are located beside the Tapajós River, in one of the Amazon’s most biodiverse regions.
The judgement is far reaching: it precludes the Temer government and all future administrations from using MPs to change protected area boundaries. Instead, the executive branch will need to submit such changes in draft bills to Congress. This approach gives civil society an opportunity to express its views regarding proposed reductions to conservation units. Importantly, the executive can still use provisional measures to push through other policies potentially harmful to the environment.