Introduction to IBAMA

(The Brazil Business, Renata Garcia, 16.Jun.2015) — IBAMA is an institute that was created to ensure the preservation and maintenance of the environment. It acts in the protection of Brazilian natural resources. In this article we will understand what IBAMA is and its functions.

The Brazilian Institute of Environment and Renewable Natural Resources, known as IBAMA, is a federal agency under the Ministry of Environment. It is responsible for the development of various activities related to the preservation and conservation of natural resources. It also controls and supervises the use of natural resources such as water, flora, fauna and soil. The institute apply fines to those who breach the standards of environmental preservation.

IBAMA’s role in environment protection

The institute must guarantee the implementation of the National Environmental Policy which was established in 1981 and intended to preserve, improve and restore the environmental quality of Brazil. The guidelines of this policy are designed through standards and plans to guide the public entities of the country in accordance with the following principles:

— Rationalization of use of soil, subsoil, water and air

— Planning and supervision of the use of environmental resources

— Protection of ecosystems, with the preservation of representative areas

— Control and zoning of polluting or potentially polluting activities

— Incentives for study and research of technologies for the rational use and protection of environmental resources

— Monitoring of environmental quality status

— Reclamation of degraded areas

— Protection of areas threatened by degradation

— Environmental education at all levels, including community education, in order to teach people how to protect the environment

The national environmental policy applies these principles through SISNAMA, short for National Environmental System. This system connects all public agencies of federal, state and municipal levels, including the Federal District, which houses the headquarters of IBAMA.

Environmental Licenses

IBAMA is responsible for granting the environmental license for any project that may pollute or degrade the environment. The environmental license is divided into the following categories:

— Operating license or Licença de Operação: authorizes the operation of the activity or project, after checking compliance with the environmental control measures and certain conditions for the operation

— Installation license: authorizes the installation of the project or activity, according to the specifications in the approved plans, programs and projects including environmental control measures

— Single environmental license for installation and operation: authorizes the installation and the operation of the company’s activities related to sanitary sewage systems subject to simplified environmental licensing of federal competence

— Operating license for mining exploration: authorization to operate experimental mining exploration for research

— Seismic research licenses: authorizes and establishes conditions, restrictions and environmental control measures that must be followed in order to conduct research on marine seismic and transition zones

— Prior license: attests to the environmental feasibility of the project, approving its location and conception. It also establishes the basic requirements and conditions to be met in the next stages of implementation

— Prior license to drilling: authorizes drilling activity related to the exploration and mining of liquid fuels and natural gas deposits

— License for possession and use of chainsaws: to issue this license the applicant must have a valid registration with the Federal Technical Register from IBAMA

— Prior license for production of research: authorizes the economic feasibility study of the deposit of liquid fuels and natural gas in activities related to exploitation

— License for use of vehicle or engine and license to use mopeds, motorcycles and similar: Automotive vehicles are required to meet the pollutant emission limits and noise levels set by IBAMA

— Document of forest origin: is a compulsory license for the control of the transport of forest product of native origin, including native charcoal

— License for import or export of flora and fauna: To import or export fauna and flora products the applicant must be registered in at least one activity related to fauna and at least one activity related to flora with the IBAMA Services

How IBAMA was created?

The idea of creating IBAMA began with Brazil’s participation at the United Nations Conference held in Stockholm in 1972. After this conference there was a lot of pressure from society and other countries for Brazil to start protecting it’s natural resources and manage their environmental in an integrated way. In response to the commitment made by Brazil at the Stockholm Conference, the Special Secretariat of the Environment or Sema, which regulates the activities aimed at preserving the environment was created.

Another agency that also worked within the environmental area was the Brazilian Institute of Forest Development, known as IBDF, which was responsible for forest preservation. Besides this institute, there was the Superintendent of Fisheries, known as Sudepe, responsible for the management of fisheries and also the Superintendence of Rubber, known as SUDHEVEA, which was intended to enable the production of rubber. Even though, there wasn’t an agency that operated in an integrated manner. IBAMA was created in 1989 and was formed by the merger of Sema, IBDF, Sudepe and SUDHEVEA.


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