Pará, Brazil–On April 29, 2020, Governor Helder Barbalho signed into law the State Policy on Climate Change in Pará. The Law, No. 9,048, aims to reduce the adverse effects of climate change and associated environmental, social, cultural, and economic vulnerabilities; conserve vegetation cover and combat the destruction remaining natural vegetation; promote cooperation with all spheres of government, commerce, industry, non-governmental organizations, indigenous peoples, quilombolas, traditional peoples and communities, producers and rural workers, research institutes and stakeholders; and encourage the use of sustainable energy and other approaches to sustainable development.
Policy objectives include support for research and promoting the use of technology to tackle climate change; making economic development compatible with policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and gradually and rationally replacing fossil energy sources; and ethno-mapping and ethno-zoning of the lands of indigenous, quilombola, and traditional peoples.
Highlights from the Law, to be observed in all municipalities of Pará, include improving access to information with increased transparency and availability of environmental data; environmental education aimed at preserving the environment; participation through cooperation between public authorities and the community; and polluter-pays (assigning the responsibility for paying costs arising from environmental damage).
“This law an additional step towards structuring the legal and institutional framework that the State Government and the State Secretariat for the Environment of the State are developing to strengthen policies that involve not only climate change, but sustainable development and, from there, achieving a comprehensive and integrated view on the issues of the economy, production, welcoming policies or demands of traditional communities, indigenous people, and quilombolas. Transforming all of this into an integrated and coordinated policy is our goal,” –Mauro O’de Almeida, State Secretary for the Environment
The Law also creates the State System on Climate Change (Semuc) as an implementing body formed by the Management Committee of the system itself, the State Water Resources Councils (CERH) and the Environment Council (Coema), the Fire Department, the Municipal Climate Change Forums, the Institute for Forestry and Biodiversity Development (IdeflorBio), and the Environment and Sustainability Secretariat (Semas). Additionally, the Law creates the Hydrometeorological Monitoring Center and the Directorate of Bioeconomics, Climate Change, and Environmental Services, directly subordinate to the Adjunct Secretariat for Water Resources and Climate Management, within the framework of Semas, to also work towards the implementation of the State Policy on Climate Change.
This cross-sectoral law is defined as public management, education, research, and innovation; transparency and communication; and, economic, financial, and fiscal. The State Plan on Climate Change must be formulated and executed within three years from the publication date.