A day after pledging more funds for the environmental inspection, President Jair Bolsonaro (non-party) formalized a reduction in resources for the area linked to climate change, fighting forest fires and promoting projects environmental conservation.
Thursday (22), during the Summit of the leaders on the climate, convened by the American president Joe Biden, Bolsonaro declared to have determined the doubling of the resources intended for the actions of environmental inspection in Brazil. According to the president’s interlocutors, it was estimated that the increase in resources for environmental inspection would be around 115 million reais.
“We have to recognize that this will be a complex task. Command and control measures are part of the response. Despite the government’s budgetary limits, I have determined the strengthening of environmental agencies, by doubling the resources allocated to inspection actions, ”said the representative.
On the same day, however, Bolsonaro sanctioned the 2021 budget with some veto – the text was formalized in the Federal Official Journal on Friday (23). The increase promised by him at the international meeting is not on the agenda of the year and, in the act of sanction, the president cut nearly 240 million reais from the Environment portfolio. .
In addition to not appearing in the budget, the pledge to double the resources for environmental inspection will depend on a reduction in other areas to accommodate the additional resources, since the budget forecast is at the limit of the ceiling of spending – a norm that prevents spending growth exceeding inflation.
Members of the government’s economic zone explained on Friday that, so far, the request to extend the money to the environmental zone has not been made and when it does, it will be necessary to discuss the source of funds to finance the promise of Bolsonaro. .
According to the Federal Budget Secretary of the Ministry of the Economy, George Soares, with the sanction of the budget, the government is now awaiting the request for funds from the portfolio commissioned by Ricardo Salles.
“Any need of the Ministry of the Environment or any other ministry will be presented to the Budget Execution Council and additions will have to be made, obviously withdrawing from another organization because we are already in the [limite] spending limit, ”he said.
Again on Friday, the Environment sent a letter to the Economy asking for an increase in the portfolio budget. The document sent to Folha by Salles requires an additional budget of 270 million reais for Ibama and ICMBio, federal inspection agencies.
The document states that the intention of the request is to divide the amount by 72 million reais for ICMBio and 198 million reais for Ibama. “The proposed complement complements the activities of inspection, prevention and fight against illegal deforestation and forest fires and environmental monitoring.”
The government has already had to cut the budget by almost 30 billion reais – around 20 billion reais by vetoing projects and 9 billion reais by blocking public spending. In this case, the release takes place only if there is money at the end of the year.
The Ministry of the Environment was not the target of the blockade, but suffered a reduction of almost 240 million reais.
Responsible for the organization of the accounts, the Ministry of the Economy said that there had been no reduction in the amount of resources by comparing the current environment budget to that contained in the original budget proposal, sent by the government to Congress in August of last year.
The initial project provided for 2.04 billion reais for the Ministry of the Environment. The amount was increased during the process in Congress, which is generally the case for all portfolios, as MPs and Senators can add funds. This increase was 275 million. Now, with the 240 million reais veto, the portfolio remains 2.08 billion reais.
Compared to 2020, when the estimated budget was almost 3 billion reais, there is therefore a more pronounced drop after the vetoes.
The Treasury has reached programs on climate change of 5.2 million reais, which concerns support for research projects related to climate change and actions related to the reduction of the effects of desertification. Another 6 million reais has been cut in the forest fire prevention and control program in priority federal areas.
Support for federal conservation units resulted in a reduction of 1 million reais in the budget for the year. The field of promotion of projects for sustainable development and environmental conservation, on the other hand, lost 3 million reais. The largest reduction – over 200 million reais – concerned planning and actions aimed at improving the quality of the urban environment. The vetoes and the blockage in the budget of the Ministry of the Environment therefore indicate a scenario of federal spending squeeze in 2021.
With the promise of an increase of 115 million reais, the government expects, among other things, to pay for the use of the National Force in actions against deforestation – a proposal criticized by environmentalists. In an interview Thursday (22) after Bolsonaro’s participation in the summit, Environment Minister Ricardo Salles said that it was not yet possible to determine the amount of the contribution to the current budget.
“Whatever is available, the president will double the resources. This is important because it supports the payment of the National Force teams – which can increase considerably – and because they are in addition to what they already have teams and logistics from Ibama, of the ICMBio and the federal police. “Salles said Thursday.