The deliberation of the State Council for Environmental Policy (Copam) on the mining project of the company Taquaril Mineração SA (Tamis) in Serra do Curral has generated a wave of criticism from the population of the capital of Minas Gerais.
Last Friday (29), in a meeting that lasted more than 18 hours and without the participation of residents of Belo Horizonte, Copam approved, by 8 votes in favor of 4 against, the licensing for the development in the area.
Read more: Institute goes to court to prevent mining in Serra do Curral, in Belo Horizonte
Known as the postcard of the capital of Minas Gerais, the relevance of Serra do Curral goes far beyond beauty. The area, equivalent to around 1,200 soccer fields, is strategic for the city’s water security and is home to several species of animals and plants threatened with extinction.
It is estimated that, if the Taquaril company’s project goes ahead, around 1 billion tons of iron ore could be extracted from the Serra. In addition, due to the proximity to the central area of Belo Horizonte, environmentalists warn of the possibility of noise and air pollution and risks of collapse, if the mining project advances in the region.
In mid-April, the Public Ministry of Minas Gerais (MPMG) filed a precautionary measure in court to suspend the process of the project. The MPMG’s argument is based on the fact that the site is in the process of being listed and, therefore, has provisional protection.
:: Prosecutor’s Office enters measure to suspend mining project in Serra do Curral (MG) ::
Three days before the Copam meeting, a political and cultural demonstration also took to the streets of the capital of Minas Gerais. Last Tuesday (26), artists, carnival groups, social and environmental movements held the protest “Tira o pé da minha Serra”.
After the vote, parliamentarians, political parties and entities are studying the possibilities of reversing the definition of Copam. Last Sunday (1), the Rede Sustentabilidade party filed a lawsuit to suspend the council’s decision.
On social media, councilor Duda Salabert (PDT) said that she will open a request for the establishment of a Parliamentary Commission of Inquiry (CPI), at the Municipality of Belo Horizonte. According to her, the objective of the CPI will be to investigate possible omissions by the City of Belo Horizonte (PBH) regarding the approval of the project.
“I decided to file a request to start a CPI to investigate possible omissions and negligence on the part of the city hall in the face of the biggest attack in history against Serra do Curral”, he declared.
Federal deputy Áurea Carolina (PSOL) reported that her mandate asked the city to challenge the licensing. According to her, Mayor Fuad Noman (PSD) can take legal action against mining in the Serra.
“PBH has informed that it can file a lawsuit against mining in Serra do Curral. The project is being licensed in Nova Lima, but the impacts for Belo Horizonte are huge,” he said.
Manifesto in defense of the Sierra
In all, more than 43,000 people have already signed a manifesto in defense of Serra do Curral. The purpose of the document is to attract supporters to put pressure on public bodies.
“This undertaking could have irreversible consequences for the quality of life of millions of people”, emphasizes the document.
To read the full manifest and sign it, Click here.
Source: BdF Minas Gerais
Editing: Larissa Costa