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World Environment Day – call for bold journalism

A statement from Brazilian independent media organisations


Where journalism is planted, democracy blooms

Brazilian Network of Environmental Media

June 5, 2020

On this World Environment Day, the environmental media and journalists guarantee that they will not cower before the challenge of exposing to society the pressures and the dismantling that is arising from the public administration and other sectors, along with exhibiting the proactive work in favor of the agenda taking place in Brazil and around the world.

The work started by professor Paulo Nogueira Neto in the Federal Government, from 1975 to 1985, created the bases for the institution and mission of what would come to be the Ministry of the Environment, taking environmental policy to the level of State politics.

Each of the secretaries and ministers that succeeded Nogueira Neto left their mark on the evolution of environmental politics, upon facing challenges in the training of professionals and the establishment of surveillance and control over environmental crimes in all the biomes. Until recently, Brazil was recognized in international forums for its commitments towards its mega biodiversity, and for all that it has already achieved.

Brazil hosted The United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), also known as the Rio de Janeiro Earth Summit, or Eco-92, a fundamental event for the future of human society on Planet Earth.

On the international scenario, Brazil assumed a leading role in the most diverse of international conferences, especially in the climate COPs (Conferences of the Parties), where the Ministry of the Environment and Itamaraty (Ministry of Foreign Affairs) were key to the advancement of commitments and targets for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and the mitigation of climate change.

In 2018, even before taking office, the current president demanded that COP 24 not be hosted in Brazil. And, in January 2019, after just a few days of government, he announced the end of the Ministry of the Environment, which thankfully did not occur due to the internal and international reaction. He didn’t waste time finding someone who would accept the mission of destroying the country’s environmental legacy. The chosen person has on their CV a controversial passage through the Secretariat of the Environment for São Paulo and a judicial condemnation for administrative misconduct, which is currently suspended and pending judgment for appeal; along with an embarrassing proximity to the most reactionary of ruralists.

After less than two years in power, it is clear that having not been able to extinguish the Ministry of the Environment, the current Government intends to destroy the environmental organizations from within. This is being done through the restructuring of collegiate bodies to remove the participation of organized society and deliberate attacks on technical people and researchers that are the basis of the knowledge and structure of command and control that brought worldwide respect to Brazil.

Those previously responsible for the area were by no means perfect and many received harsh criticism from the media and journalists specialized in environmental coverage. But all acted within the field of democracy, respecting the freedom and the role of the press in the construction of modern society. This time we have a minister who wants to take advantage of the death of 30 thousand people act under a cloak of darkness.

What we can say, dear minister, is that there is no blackout in Brazilian environmental journalism; the media and journalists that cover the environment are watching your every move, each paper you sign, each spurious act that comes from your cabinet. We shall inform the people about the environmental larceny engineered to tear away from society, from the indigenous peoples, from quilombos and the forests, the life in some of the richest ecosystems on planet Earth.

On this World Environment Day, we can confirm that Brazilian Environmental Media will not let through any criminal act against the land, the people, or the biodiversity of our country, which bears the name of thetree, Brazil.


Agência EcoNordeste – 

Agência Envolverde –  

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