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Title: Improving the effectiveness of impact assessment pertaining to Indigenous peoples in the Brazilian environmental licensing procedure

The number of environmental licence applications for projects affecting Indigenous peoples in Brazil has increased since the implementation of a major infrastructure program (Programa de Aceleração do Crescimento) in 2007. This increase has caused problems for Brazilian agencies involved in environmental licensing procedures (IBAMA, FUNAI and others). We analyze the Brazilian environmental licensing procedure for situations involving Indigenous peoples, Maroons (Quilombolas) or other traditional communities in order to identify potential improvements for Brazil and potentially other countries. Although Brazilian procedures are consistent with international best practice in environmental licensing, in practice social impacts are inadequately addressed, mitigation measures are poorly implemented, and there is a lack of enforcement and compliance. The paper is based on document analysis and interviews with key actors in governmental and non-governmental organizations and Indigenous leaders. We suggest that Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) processes need to be conducted at the earliest stages of project planning, and that Indigenous peoples should actively participate in impact assessment, monitoring and evaluation processes. In order to achieve a social licence to operate, there needs to be full recognition of traditional knowledge and acceptance of Indigenous values and concepts. We also recommend increased involvement of social experts and mediatorsmore » as well as improved accountability, enforcement and grievance mechanisms in the licensing process. - Highlights: • The Brazilian environmental licensing system needs to address social impacts better. • Communities need to be consulted at the earliest stage possible. • Indigenous peoples need to be invited to participate in impact assessment teams. • Independent Indigenous committees to monitor implementation of mitigation measures. • Accountability, enforcement and grievance mechanisms need to be improved.« less
Authors:
 [1] ;  [1] ;  [2] ;  [3]
  1. Department of Cultural Geography, Faculty of Spatial Sciences, University of Groningen, PO Box 800, 9700 AV Groningen (Netherlands)
  2. Department of Anthropology, Center for Philosophy and Human Sciences, Federal University of Santa Catarina PO Box 5104, 88040-970, Florianópolis, SC (Brazil)
  3. Department of Planning, Faculty of Spatial Sciences, University of Groningen, PO Box 800, 9700 AV Groningen (Netherlands)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22334149
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Environmental Impact Assessment Review; Journal Volume: 46; Other Information: Copyright (c) 2014 Elsevier Science B.V., Amsterdam, The Netherlands, All rights reserved.; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; BRAZIL; ENFORCEMENT; ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT STATEMENTS; ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY; INDIGENOUS PEOPLES; LICENSING PROCEDURES; SOCIAL IMPACT; SOCIO-ECONOMIC FACTORS