‘Brazil under Constitution’: Charter of 88 is a pioneer in protecting the environment | Brazil in Constitution

‘Brazil under Constitution’: Charter of 88 is a pioneer in protecting the environment | Brazil in Constitution
‘Brazil under Constitution’: Charter of 88 is a pioneer in protecting the environment | Brazil in Constitution

“If today I am more concerned with my environment, with my surroundings, with my society, with the next generations that are coming, it was certainly thanks to this right guaranteed in the Constitution”, says the Master in Health Sciences. Lionela Correa.

“I can say that I am the result of democratic and participatory management in Brazil and my professional life, everything that I have achieved today, I continue to achieve, is the result of this democracy. It is the result of the Constitution”, says Professor Bruna Freitas.

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“So I think this had an important impact on my life and I think that of all the people who had access to this right and it made a tremendous change, well, in our community, in our state, in our country”, says Lionela.

Bruna and Lionela are childhood friends, they grew up together in Manaus, in a neighborhood called Educandos.

Avenida Rio Negro is more than a street name, it is a floating reality. A place of contrasts, the city that advances over the river, draws its sustenance from it.

Today’s joke: balance on the bridge. For those born on stilts, the first fun is already confused with the fight for life. In the heart of the neighborhood, a small square like any other and the difference is the size of the shade.

Manaus is a different metropolis: in addition to skyscrapers, the city has a tree that holds the sky. It’s the kapok. Many forest peoples believe that the tall, open canopy has the power to support the sky.

On the banks of the Rio Negro, the big city and the immense jungle meet. Where does one end and where does the other begin? The tree helps blur this boundary. If in the woods it already stands out, in the square, on the edge of the asphalt, it draws even more attention. There, the kapok is a sentinel of two worlds and the simple existence of this plant already teaches us a lot.

Taking care of our streets, our squares, is also taking care of nature. It is the lesson of those who are giants among giants, queen of the Amazon, a ladder to heaven.

“Manaus in general is like that. We have areas where we still have intact forest, where we have indigenous communities that are protected and we have the social problems of large metropolises”, explains Bruna.

Think and act. Right there, spreading what she, Bruna and the whole class had learned at school through the streets and stilts of the neighborhood.

“Pollution decreased by 30% after the protectors of life passed through here. There are 4,000 students and a mission: to educate riverside people and fishermen to keep the water clean”, says a 2001 report.

news reporter: That girl you said is smart, isn’t she?
Bruna: Is enough! This girl, she was very interested in improving her community as well, and I was in a very beautiful training process with my peers. I am very proud of our history. We not only learned to conserve the environment, but we also learned notions of ethics, citizenship, constitutional rights, defending what we think in a simple and respectful way. So we knew that many, many residents didn’t have access to the information that we had.

News reporter: Remember that?
Lionela: I remember, it was one of the things we did the most.
News reporter: And did it work, Lionela?
Lionela: Yes, everyone who went through the project passed it on to their family. I took it into my house with my parents, with my brothers and today I pass it on to my daughter and the same thing happened to my colleagues. They pass this awareness on to their families and to generations to come as well.

“From the moment we started to reflect that the environment is everything that was around us, everything took on a different meaning for us”, says Bruna.

In Brazil, it is possible to see the wild nature and the urban landscape side by side, mixed in the same horizon. In this scenario, the debate on the environment gains even more strength.

“The Constitution of 1988 can be called the ecological Constitution and it clearly states that economic development is not possible without protecting the environment. It is important that the constitutional text brings instruments that will make what is said there, sometimes in a poetic and apparently utopian way. It is one of the most beautiful, but at the same time powerful, constitutional texts in the world”, explains STJ Minister Herman Benjamin.

Our Constitution was a pioneer. “Now, the Constituent Assembly votes on an unprecedented chapter in Brazilian letters: the text on the environment. It is the ecological awareness that emerges in Brazil”, says an excerpt from a report.

The novelty was approved and article 225 reads as follows: “Everyone has the right to an ecologically balanced environment, a good for the common use of the people and essential to a healthy quality of life, imposing on the public power and the community the duty to defend and preserve it for present and future generations. ”

Who helped to choose these words was the lawyer and environmentalist Fabio Feldmann, one of the youngest members of the Constituent Assembly.

News reporter: In the definitive text of the Constitution, do you recognize some articles, especially in the chapter on the environment, that came out of your typewriter?
Fabio Feldmann: In Parliament there is no authorship. As I was the only parliamentarian linked to the environment, I mean, I had a big participation. I was following what the world was discussing in the area of ​​the environment.

At the time, the constituents took a closer look at the region’s environmental challenges.

“This natural heritage is being depleted by mining and leather workers, who kill alligators. Under discussion, the guarantees that the new Constitution will bring to protect the Pantanal”, read a report.

“This case of the Pantanal, it is interesting, because it is an area of ​​impressive wealth, isn’t it? We managed to protect some important biomes, but at that time, Pedro (reporter), we were not able to place, for example, the Caatinga and the Cerrado. So you see, on the issue of the Amazon, the constitutional text, it is necessary, but it was not enough to contain deforestation. But I want to say that it is the first step for us to walk in the right direction”, says Fabio.

news reporter: If we didn’t have the Constitution of 88, how many trees would Brazil have less today?
Fabio Feldmann: I would say to you it is incalculable. Perhaps the example I know best is the Atlantic Forest. Today everyone recognizes and knows what Atlantic Forest is. Until 88, this did not happen.

“We talked about ecology, ecologism, eco-borings. He spoke neither of sustainable development nor of environmentalism. These are the terms that come later”, says social scientist Samyra Crespo.

“I like the example of the word biodiversity, which everyone talks about in terms of biodiversity, it is also a word that did not exist, so the Constitution came in a positive period, in a period when these themes were being put to society, Brazilian society and I think they helped, I mean, even if there is a lack of regulation, I would say that if it weren’t for the constitution, I think Brazil would be much poorer from an environmental point of view than today, with all our difficulties”, says Fabio .

“As your ecological awareness grows, your look changes, the way you eat, the way you move, the way you deal with nature and also with each other. Our Constitution was very modern in 1988”, says Samyra.

“And the demands that arise, right? Which are still very new issues. Because the environment today is a subject in the faculties of a specialized subject, it is not curricular. So, in the past, the environment was not studied”, says STF Minister Luiz Fux.

“Today we have an infinity of university courses, doctorates, specializations, agreements with foreign universities. So you created a critical mass in scientific, technological and extraordinary knowledge and always the Constitution as the north”, says Samyra.

In article 225, a part was specially written to guarantee the access of all Brazilians to this world of teachings and discoveries. It is in item 6: “To ensure the effectiveness of this right, it is incumbent upon the public power to promote environmental education at all levels of education and public awareness for the preservation of the environment.”

Lionela and Bruna are part of the first generation that took advantage of this right guaranteed by the Constitution.

“Thanks to the Constitution, I received this environmental education. It was thanks to these rights guaranteed in the Constitution, because it was from there that we had access to this more critical look, to this more concerned look, to this more conscious look”, says Lionela.

The conscience of the residents of the Educandos neighborhood sprouted on the corner, sprouted at school, in environmental education classes and they went far.

“Instead of rides and parks, they went to see the Federal Senate. The children occupied the Petrônio Portela auditorium, which was more important than the Congress”, a report in 1999 showed.

In 1999, more than one hundred students from public schools, representing all Brazilian biomes, went to Brasília to write an important chapter in this history.

“A summary of everything these children said will become a letter that will be delivered to President Fernando Henrique this Wednesday, at Palácio da Alvorada, with more parties, solemnity”, excerpt from a report.

“The letter that we delivered says yes to citizenship, education, information and awareness and to aggression against the environment we all say yes or no”, said a child in the report.

News reporter: Remember that trip, Lionela?
Lionela: I even remember this boy, I don’t remember his name, but I remember he said that we were a little seed that in a little while we would be trees. He said this in this assembly. Yeah, I even get emotional.
News reporter: Today you are a tree, right?
Lionela: Today we are trees, including us in Manaus. We planted a tree that today is quite big. A kapok. Maybe this is the symbol of that work that we did. It’s still there today.
News reporter: Do you remember the day the kapok was planted there?
Lionela: I remember, it was a really symbolic day. This generation that passed, which was part of the producers of life, really they were multipliers of information, because when we left Brasília, that’s what they told us, ‘you are going to be multipliers of information’. Everything that we discussed here you will take to your state and that’s what we did.

Names alive in memory, long unsaid. At the reunion, hugs the size of kapok. It’s ours. Mine, yours, from all over Brazil. Okay, a little more from whoever planted it.

Imagine if she wasn’t there. one less kapok in the Amazon, an entire generation lost. Knowledge takes root, ramifies, bears fruit, becomes gigantic. The lessons we learn in childhood are greater than we imagine. Imagine if the Constitution did not exist.

The article is in Portuguese

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