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Posted on 18/6/13

Every major private enterprise in the planning phase is obliged to prepare an Environmental Impact Study (EIA), this is a precondition required by the Brazilian State for the environmental licensing of the enterprise. These procedures are foreseen in la aw that, despite being in effect since the beginning of the 1980s, only began to be fulfilled from the 1990s. However, there is a problem in the construction of these documents since the funding and the choice for the company responsible for the study is the entrepreneur himself. The studies are generally biased, seeking to minimize the impacts, exempting the company from its responsibility to mitigate them or relocate the enterprise.

Near the Tupinambá territory is being built huge port, called ‘Porto Sul’, project under construction on the north coast of Ilheus, expected to operate with a nominal capacity to export 75 million tons per year and import 5 million tons. This represents a enormous volume of intended operations, almost entirely to export commodities generated by mining and agribusiness. The construction is already having a strong impact on the Tupinambá territory due to the pressure for sand extraction. The Tupinambá were classified as situated in the direct influence area of the project. The images below materialize all the information about the Tupinambá present in the study regarding the ‘Porto Sul’


“We can notice that the city and the port of Ilhéus make a natural protection barrier for these communities, preventing any direct or indirect impact by the ‘Porto Sul’.”


We can see that the quantity and quality of existing information on the Tupinambá in the document is insufficient for the recognition of the impact in the lives of the Indigenous communities. Impossible not to notice the a small number of explanations about their ways of life and production, there isn’t therefore, enough information for a meaningful analysis of impacts. It makes no sense to think that the flows of people, money and goods caused by the opening of the Port will be braked by the city of Ilheus, as described in the study. The urban center and the small port of Ilheus do not represent barriers to these flows, on the contrary, they intensify them. Also an urban territoriality in intense transformation could never be considered a “natural” barrier to social, economic and cultural flows. This argument is, therefore, at least questionable.


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