Published in partnership with Unearthed, the Greenpeace UK investigative journalism website
The director of Brazil’s National Mining Agency (ANM), plans to take a “regulatory guillotine” to the mining sector – raising new fears about protections for indigenous communities and the threat of deforestation.
The unreported comments, made at a mining conference last month, come as the agency promotes a new “partnership” with the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) to develop its regulatory framework. The OECD confirmed to Unearthed it is producing a report for the ANM.
“If the ‘regulatory guillotine’ includes environmental protection standards, expect disasters involving mining developments ahead,” Suely Araújo, senior public policy specialist at the Climate Observatory and former president of Ibama, Brazil’s federal environmental protection agency, told Unearthed.
“By reducing their obligations in this field, they will place the burden of environmental degradation on society, which is unacceptable,” Araújo added.
At the mining conference, held in May, ANM director Tomás Albuquerque said the partnership with the OECD would allow them to eliminate “obstacles” currently facing the sector.
“All this [red tape] is what we are going to suppress, the legislation we will repeal, we will be able to do this with the instrument that we call the regulatory guillotine. Simply cut, unclog and move forward,” said Albuquerque at a conference promoted by FFA Legal, a private consultancy that works with mining companies.