The Minister of Environment, Jose Carlos Carvalho, admits that the Conference of Johannesburg, called Rio + 10, might be emptied as consequence of the lack of results in the implementation of some issues on Agenda 21, such as the Conventions of Climate and Bio-diversity, and the new international reality after the attacks of September 11th in the United States. He considered, however, that today’s dominant perception, above all after the terrorist attacks to the United States, that ” the world will not decide its problems with unilateral proposals in international relations “, would be able to strengthen the conference in South Africa.
Carvalho revealed the hope that themes like poverty could be argued in Johannesburg, but he warned that these debates do not have to block the discussion of a basic issue on environment in the world, which is the system of production and consumption of industrialized economies, generating of enormous environmental liabilities. At the same time he criticized the alternative that President Bush offered the Protocol of Kyoto, stating it as “a proposal of not participating”.
About to approach the beginning of the activities of Project Sivam (Amazon monitoring system), in the Amazon, the Minister of Environment reduced the fears that the information obtained by the project is shared by foreign groups, affirming that the data electronically gathered by the system implanted by the North American company Raytheon will have to be made available to all society.
The Minister talked about some themes related to the activities of his Ministry, announcing a program coming up soon for the recovery of degraded areas of the Atlantic Forest, which will follow taking care of the other Brazilian biomes, such as the Open pasture region. He also said that the Ministry of Environment is working in partnership with the economic Government sector to make it possible the participation of tax and credit laws in the implementation of environmental projects. He stressed on the importance of two experiments on course in the tax area: Ecological ICMS, a tax charged by the States that stimulates environment projects, and financing environmental ventures within the scope of Pronaf, the Financing Program for Family Agriculture, developed with resources from the Federal Government.
Carvalho announced resources of R$ 100 million (about US$40 million) for this year for the implantation of Conservation and Revitalization Project of the São Francisco Hydrographic River Basin, whose total cost, to be paid within ten years, is of R$ 1,0 billion (about US$400 million).
The Minister stated that the people in charge of the elaboration of government projects being presented to the voters by the candidates for Brazilian Presidency, in the elections next October, must privilege, in the area of environment, topics as the incentives for monitoring, river pollution and hydrographic basins, the lack of adequate disposal of urban trash, the joint management of water and sovereignty of the Amazon, ” demonstrating that the Government and society have capacity to protecting the immense natural heritage of the Amazon.”