New president of Ibama works to apply ‘Zero Deforestation’ policy in the Amazon

O novo presidente do Ibama, Rodrigo Agostinho foi deputado federal por São Paulo e é advogado,
Mencius Melo – Cenarium Magazine

MANAUS – The new president of Ibama, the former federal deputy Rodrigo Agostinho (PSB-SP), assumed the direction of the agency last Friday, 24. Appointed by Lula (PT) and endorsed by the Minister of Environment, Marina Silva (Rede Sustentabilidade), Agostinho has ahead, according to interlocutors, great challenges. IBAMA has suffered a dismantling over the four years of the Jair Bolsonaro Government and its restructuring meets the ambitious policy of Lula, which is to zero deforestation in the Amazon.

The challenge of Ibama’s new manager is to restructure the agency that suffered the most dismantling during Jair Bolsonaro’s four years in office (Reproduction/Fernando Augusto-Ibama)

In an interview to Agência Pública, Rodrigo Agostinho commented on the scenario that awaits him as the manager of one of the most delicate portfolios of the new Brazilian public administration. Among the emergency actions is the construction of the new Action Plan for Prevention and Control of Deforestation in the Legal Amazon (PPCDAm), a tool originally launched in 2004, which was fundamental for the drop of more than 80% in deforestation in the Amazon between that year and 2012. The federal government wants this tool back and improved.

Agostinho made a brief parallel to contextualize the plan within the new reality of environmental policies worldwide. “In the old PPCDAm, we didn’t have the carbon market that we have today. We didn’t have countless economic strategies. The whole world was not looking at the Amazon as it is today”, analyzed the manager. For him, the external help can accelerate even more the restructuring process of Ibama and its public policies. “We have important signals from many countries that will contribute to the Amazon Fund”, he said.


Ambitious project

In an interview with CENARIUM MAGAZINE, anthropologist Alvatir Carolino evaluated that zero deforestation in the Amazon is a “really” ambitious project that cuts across various fronts: “I think that one of the starting points for reaching the Ibama/Lula government’s objective is Law no. 12. 188, sanctioned on January 11, 2010, which establishes the National Policy for ATER – Pnater, and for Agrarian Reform and the National Program for Technical Assistance and Rural Extension in Family Agriculture and Agrarian Reform – Pronater, this law changes Law 8.666 of June 21, 1993.January 11, 2010”, he highlighted.

The use of science and knowledge is indispensable, says Alvatir Carolino, to optimize cattle ranching in the Amazon and avoid the advance on the green tissue (Reproduction/Maisro)

Another point defended by Alvatir is the integration of competent agencies: “The gathering of information and data from Inpe about deforested areas, degraded areas, and areas that apparently are not degraded, but are being underused by agriculture and cattle raising practices, is fundamental. Agencies such as Inpe and Incra can act in integrated work. This can guarantee the activation of governments for the land issue in the Amazon”, explained the anthropologist.

Alvatir continued: “With the land ownership condition clarified, we will move on to the agricultural issue, which is a sector that needs to unite science and technology. It is necessary to apply cattle raising technologies to areas with little productive capacity like those that exist in the south of Pará and Amazonas. Embrapa has developed research that can, in less than two years, raise four hectare animals ready for slaughter. Today, we work with one animal per hectare. With the technology we restrict the need to open new pastures, and with this we don’t advance over the forest, because it’s unnecessary”, he informed.

Other activities

Carolino continues defending the use of knowledge. “New technologies applied to the field such as pasture rotation, good management practices, genetic improvement, this increases the productive capacity, but it is necessary technical follow-up by organs such as the Institute of Agricultural and Sustainable Forestry Development of the State of Amazonas (Idam), for example. Once this is solved, we need to move on to another problem that must be combated by the Executive, the Judiciary, Ibama, Incra, which is real estate speculation in the Amazon. The land market in the Amazon”, he pointed out.

Amazonian populations must be included in all projects that aim at “zero deforestation” of the forest, says anthropologist Alvatir Carolino (Reproduction/Globo)

The valorization of traditional populations is another point that needs to be listed for zero deforestation. “The attention to the forest people is also fundamental to guarantee zero deforestation. It is wrong to think that these populations are not in contact with market relations. The problem is that these populations are the fragile part of the market chain. I cite, as an example, the collection, purchase, and sale of Amazon nuts. In the communities this market relation is unequal. One pays R$5 less in a liter and this nut is commercialized at R$120 a kilo in the city of Manaus. This is very unfair to those who preserve the forest”, criticized Alvatir Carolino.

Ibama is back

Another point brought up by Rodrigo Agostinho, is the operationalization of Ibama: “Ibama is back to work. The command and control is back to being organized. People understood that Ibama was back to work. The presidential speech changed. If people were expecting to continue investing in illegal timber exploitation, because there was no more control, or in mining on indigenous land, because there was no more inspection, now they are starting to rethink this”, he evaluated.

Rodrigo Agostinho is an environmentalist and has the support of the Minister of the Environment, Marina Silva, to conduct Ibama’s restructuring policies.


Asked about the high rates of deforestation in Amazonas and the reconstruction of BR-319, Agostinho was adamant. “This most recent deforestation in Amazonas was something that was not on the radar in recent years. The leaders have always been Pará and Mato Grosso. Now, we have noticed the growth in deforestation and the retaking also in States where things were a little more under control, such as Rondônia and Acre, where it has returned in a very intense way”, he pointed out.

About the BR-319 highway and the pressure it can exert on deforestation numbers, the environmentalist was moderate. “Nobody builds a project with only a preliminary license. Obviously, this is a warning for us. Each and every road, especially in the Amazon, has a very bad history. In all of them we had very strong indirect deforestation along these roads. So it is a central point. We are going to evaluate with great attention and care”, concluded Rodrigo Agostinho.


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