Governance rather than rules
What have we learnt with Brazil's environmental policy?
Keywords:Brazil, Environmental policies, Governance, Law enforcement
In recent years, Brazilian environmental policies have been criticized when compared to policies implemented particularly from 2004 to 2010. One particular feature is focused on environmental law enforcement governance, taking into account the expanding Protected Areas and Indigenous Lands, the development monitoring systems to detect vegetation loss, and others, like an important task force including Federal Police and other ministries. In this sense, this work aims to tell the rise and fall of Brazil's environmental policies, aiming to present the changing conditions from a strong to weak environmental governance. The hypothesis of the article is based on the idea that law enforcement governance is more important to explain the environmental policies outcomes than rules. Following literature, we use “environmental governance” to refer to the set of regulatory processes, mechanisms and organizations through which political actors influence environmental actions and outcomes (law enforcement). The research is based on extensive statistical data from Brazil's public data (deforestation, protected areas, illegal harvesting, budget, etc.) and also local and international reports. Additionally, the work aims to identify the environmental governance actors in Brazil: market actors, state actors and, more recently, civil society-based actors such as nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and local communities. The article evidences the importance of enforcement of the law and the weaknesses of environmental institutions and governance process considering the partisan perspective (state capacity). Finally, some proposals will be presented to overcome the ongoing extractive posture in Brazilian environmental governance.
Acemoglu, D., & Robinson, J. A. (2012). Why nations fail: The origins of power, prosperity and poverty. London: Profile.
Assunção, J., Gandour, C., & Rocha, R. (2013). DETERring deforestation in the Amazon: environmental monitoring and law enforcement. Climate Policy Initiative, Núcleo de Avaliaçao de Polıticas Climáticas, Pontifícia Universidade Católica (PUC), Rio de Janeiro, 36.
Azevedo-Santos, V. M., Fearnside, P. M., Oliveira, C. S., Padial, A. A., Pelicice, F. M., Lima, D. P., ... & Vitule, J. R. (2017). Removing the abyss between conservation science and policy decisions in Brazil. Biodivers Conserv 26:1745–1752.
Barbosa, L. G., Alves, M. A. S., & Grelle, C. E. V. (2021). Actions against sustainability: Dismantling of the environmental policies in Brazil. Land Use Policy, 104, 105384.
Bersch, K., Praça, S., & Taylor, M. M. (2017). State capacity, bureaucratic politicization, and corruption in the Brazilian state. Governance, 30(1), 105-124.
Besley, T., Burgess, R., Khan, A., & Xu, G. (2021). Bureaucracy and Development. NBER Working Paper No. 29163, August 2021.
Beunen, R., & Patterson, J. J. (2019). Analysing institutional change in environmental governance: Exploring the concept of ‘institutional work’. Journal of Environmental Planning and Management, 62(1), 12-29.
Bridge, G., & Perreault, T. (2009). Environmental governance (pp. 475-497). Malden: Wiley-Blackwell.
Caballero, G., & Soto-Oñate, D. (2016). Why transaction costs are so relevant in political governance? A new institutional survey. Brazilian Journal of Political Economy, 36, 330-352.
Carvalho, W. D., Mustin, K., Hilário, R. R., Vasconcelos, I. M., Eilers, V., & Fearnside, P. M. (2019). Deforestation control in the Brazilian Amazon: A conservation struggle being lost as agreements and regulations are subverted and bypassed. Perspectives in Ecology and Conservation, 17(3), 122-130.
Drummond, J., & Barros‐Platiau, A. F. (2006). Brazilian environmental laws and policies, 1934–2002: a critical overview. Law & Policy, 28(1), 83-108.
Evans, P. B., Rueschemeyer, D., & Skocpol, T. (Eds.). (1985). Bringing the state back in. Cambridge University Press.
Fearnside, P. M. (2012). Brazil's Amazon forest in mitigating global warming: unresolved controversies. Climate Policy, 12(1), 70-81.
Fearnside, P. M. (2016). Brazilian politics threaten environmental policies. Science, 353(6301), 746-748.
Fukuyama, F. (2013). What is governance?. Governance, 26(3), 347-368.
Hansen, M. C., Potapov, P. V., Moore, R., Hancher, M., Turubanova, S. A., Tyukavina, A., ... & Townshend, J. (2013). High-resolution global maps of 21st-century forest cover change. Science, 342(6160), 850-853.
Hargrave, J., & Kis-Katos, K. (2013). Economic causes of deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon: a panel data analysis for the 2000s. Environmental and Resource Economics, 54(4), 471-494.
Inter-American Development Bank (IDB, 2020). Environmental Governance Indicators for Latin America & the Caribbean. A cross-country assessment of environmental governance in practice in Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Jamaica, Peru & Uruguay. Available in: https://publications.iadb.org/publications/english/document/Environmental-Governance-Indicators-for-Latin-America--the-Caribbean.pdf. Acessed: August, 2021.
Jänicke, M., & Jörgens, H. (2020). New approaches to environmental governance. In The ecological modernisation reader (pp. 156-189). Routledge.
Kelsen H (1973) What Is Justice? In: Weinberger O (ed) Hans Kelsen: Essays in Legal and Moral Philosophy, pp. 1–26. Reidel, Dordrecht.
Leme, T. N. (2010). Os municípios e a política nacional do meio ambiente. Planejamento e políticas públicas, 2(35).
Lemos, M. C., & Agrawal, A. (2006). Environmental governance. Annu. Rev. Environ. Resour., 31, 297-325.
Mansbridge, J. (2014). The role of the state in governing the commons. Environmental Science & Policy, 36, 8-10.
Pereira, E. J. D. A. L., Ferreira, P. J. S., de Santana Ribeiro, L. C., Carvalho, T. S., & de Barros Pereira, H. B. (2019). Policy in Brazil (2016–2019) threaten conservation of the Amazon rainforest. Environmental Science & Policy, 100, 8-12.
Tollefson, J. (2016). Brazil debates loosening environmental protections. Nature, 539(7628), 147-148.
Thomaz, S. M., Barbosa, L. G., de Souza Duarte, M. C., & Panosso, R. (2020). Opinion: The future of nature conservation in Brazil. Inland Waters, 10(2), 295-303.
Schwartz, J. (2003). The impact of state capacity on enforcement of environmental policies: The case of China. The Journal of Environment & Development, 12(1), 50-Y.
Skocpol, Theda (1985). Bringing the State Back in: Strategies of Analysis in Current Research. In Evans, Peter, Dietrich Rueschemeyer, and Theda Skocpol (eds), Bringing the State Back In, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press: 3-43.
UNEP, Environmental Rule of Law: First Global Report (Nairobi: United Nations Environment Program, 2019), 10.
Williams, M. J. (2021). Beyond state capacity: bureaucratic performance, policy implementation and reform. Journal of Institutional Economics, 17(2), 339-357.
How to Cite
Copyright (c) 2022 João Felippe Marinho Mathias Cury
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.