Institute of Amazonian Studies v. Federal Union and Federal Environmental Agencies (IBAMA and ICMBio) (Chico Mendes Extraction Reserve)
Jurisdiction: 2nd Federal Civil and Criminal Court of the Judiciary Section of Acre
Side A: Institute of Amazonian Studies (Ngo)
Side B: Chico Mendes Institute for Biodiversity Conservation (Government)
Side B: Federal Union and Federal Environmental Agencies (Government)
Core objectives: Seeking to prevent the continuation of illegal deforestation in the Chico Mendes Extractive Reserve (RESEx), to recover the deforested areas and to hold the defendants responsible for their failure to protect the environment.
Summary“IEA vs. União Federal, IBAMA e ICMBio (RESEx Chico Mendes)”
On October 28, 2022, the Institute of Amazonian Studies (Instituto de Estudos Amazônicos (IEA)) filed a Public Civil Action (class action) against the Federal Union and Federal Environmental Agencies (Brazilian Institute of the Environment and Renewable Natural Resources (IBAMA) and Chico Mendes Institute for Biodiversity Conservation (ICMBio)). It states that deforestation causes irreparable damage to the Amazon Rainforest and affects the rights and way of life of the traditional extractivist community, which is based on the sustainable exploitation of natural resources. The action emphasizes that the Chico Mendes Extraction Reserve (RESEx) is an instrument of social justice and a vehicle for forest protection. It claims that the advance of deforestation has occurred due to the weakening of public policies, land invasion, road construction, density of access roads, and fires in the region, among other reasons. According to the plaintiff, beginning in 2019, there has been a drastic increase in deforestation. The RESEx Utilization Plan states that deforestation in areas with rubber plantations cannot exceed 10% of the area, and the action claims that this limit has been exceeded in approximately half of those areas. The IEA emphasizes that RESEx has a strategic role in providing environmental services to the inhabitants of the Acre River basin due to the supply of water. It also highlights the deforestation reduction targets for the Legal Amazon region in the Amazon Deforestation Prevention and Control Plan (PPCDAm) foreseen in Federal Law 12.187/2009 (National Policy on Climate Change (PNMC)), which, according to the IEA, are not being met. It points out that, as the Federal Union, IBAMA and ICMBio are not fulfilling their duty of management and control and are contributing to the damage to the RESEx and the community. It emphasizes the vital role of the forest in the carbon cycle and that approximately three million tons of carbon were released into the atmosphere due to illegal deforestation in the RESEx. The IEA argues that there is a need for full environmental reparation in addition to the obligation to restore the forest and argues that future studies should be done to calculate the compensation for associated damages, such as climate damage. It emphasizes the vulnerable situation of the community, which justifies the payment of compensation for collective moral damage. It also argues that there is a need to prepare a Forest Restoration and Deforestation Control Plan for the region. Finally, among the other claims, the author requests: (i) payment of compensation for the material damage caused to the environment in the amount of at least R$ 183,817,104.00; (ii) payment of compensation for collective moral damage in the minimum amount of R$ 100,000,000.00; and (iii) immediate forest restoration of the entire area deforested above the established limit, to be carried out according to a Forest Restoration and Deforestation Control Plan.