Environment Minister Ricardo Salles in the National Integration, Regional Development and Amazon Committee. Photo: Lula Marques

In 2019, through a package of decrees published just before COP-25 (UN Climate Conference), the Brazilian government suspended the activities of the Amazon Fund, alleging irregularities. The decrees eliminated the body’s Technical Committee and the Guidance Committee, blocking roughly R$1.5 billion in funding that would have been spent on projects to combat and prevent deforestation in the Amazon.

The measure was taken against a backdrop of exponential increases in fires and deforestation and prompted opposition parties to file a lawsuit against the federal government in the Supreme Court for omission. The case draws on article 225 of the Federal Constitution, which establishes that the Brazilian State has the duty to protect and preserve an ecologically balanced environment.

The petitioners are asking the federal government to take the necessary administrative measures to reactivate the Amazon Fund; resume transfers of financial resources for the projects already approved; assess the projects in the consultation or analysis stage within 90 days; and not suspend the operation of the Fund again or use its resources for other purposes.

In December 2020, Conectas applied for amicus curiae status in the case and defended the extension of the scope of article 225 to guarantee climate security for present and future generations.

According to the organization, there is an intrinsic relationship between climate change and human rights because, although it is felt by everyone, global warming takes a particularly heavy toll on groups that are already vulnerable due to social, economic and racial issues.

Conectas is supported in this case by the Global Justice Clinic, a group associated with the New York University School of Law with renowned experience in the fields of human rights and environmental protection.

Technical information

  • Case: ADO-59
  • Court: Supreme Court
  • Status: Awaiting decision on request for admission in the case as amicus curiae
  • Procedure:
    • 6/5/20: Initial petition
    • 12/8/20: Request for Conectas to be admitted as amicus curiae