Ministério Público Federal v. de Rezende
Jurisdiction: Federal Environmental and Agrarian Court
Side A: Ministério Público Federal (Government)
Side B: Dauro Parreiras de Rezende (Individual)
Whether a Brazilian farmer is responsible for climate and environmental damages stemming from deforestation in the Amazon.
On April 16, 2021, a Federal Environmental and Agrarian Court in Brazil issued a preliminary decision granting an injunction against a Brazilian farmer (Dauro Parreiras de Rezende), ordering the removal of a cattle herd from farms that caused deforestation. The case was brought by the Amazon Task Force, established by the federal public prosecutors in 2018 to combat illegal deforestation in Amazonia, through the Ministério Público Federal (MPF), or the federal prosecution office. The MPF brought a tort case against de Rezende for causing the deforestation of 2,488.56 hectares (the equivalent of 4,650 football fields) between 2011 and 2018 in the Amazon, in violation of the right to a healthy environment guaranteed by the Brazilian Constitution. In its preliminary decision, the Court also suspended any paperwork related to the movement of cattle to or from the farms.
The MPF further seeks up to R$ 85.4 million (about USD $17 million) in monetary damages from de Rezende for (i) residual material and intermediate climate damage, i.e., the value of emissions that deforestation has caused; (ii) collective pain and suffering as a violation of human rights (moral damages); (iii) intermediate and residual material environmental damages; and (iv) compensation for illegal profits from deforestation.