Theses defended

Bases de Dados, Gestão Ambiental e Sustentabilidade

Davi Campos Fontes

Public Defence date
February 28, 2023
Doctoral Programme
Territory, Risk and Public Policies
José Manuel Mendes
With a large agricultural production and holder of relevant forest areas, Brazil produces a large amount of information related to the environmental sphere. This stems from the fact that the Brazilian State has been building for years a robust data production structure aimed at preserving its natural resources. Researchers, companies and organized civil society have made increasing use of this information to meet their needs.The present work seeks to study the theme of environmental management in Brazil, observing the use of different databases currently used in the control of deforestation and in the reduction of major environmental accidents. The two issues have relevant similarities, such as a high potential for environmental impact (on a national or even global scale) when considering the possibility of major accidents or the participation of land use changes in total greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) of the country.Although different actors have been successfully appropriating these tools, the public sector still has a myriad of opportunities to be explored. In the first decades of the 2000s, the Brazilian state developed a variety of strategies to take advantage of already available environmental databases in order to reduce the country's emissions.These strategies, based largely on crossing infractions and vegetation cover databases, proved to be effective for controlling illegal deforestation in the period studied (between 2008 and 2018). Among the main strategies are the establishment of priority regions for inspection and the restriction of bank credit for properties that have registered environmental embargoes.For various reasons, depending on the Brazilian model of environmental protection, major accidents and deforestation control in the Brazilian Amazon require direct action from the Federal sphere, which in turn, is largely in charge of its main environmental agency, IBAMA. (Brazilian Institute for the Environment and Renewable Natural Resources). This overlapping of attributions can be seen as an opportunity to adapt, for use in the prevention of environmental occurrences, of successful tools and strategies in the control of deforestation, such as the public consultation platform of embargoed areas and the list of priority municipalities for inspection.Seeking to understand the dynamics of the use of databases in environmental management, methodologies such as documental research, participant observation, and two case studies were combined, based on the literature, referring to the employment strategies of different databases.The results obtained allowed us to observe different aspects of the use of databases in Brazilian environmental management. The case studies indicated that the use of the database allowed a better management of environmental issues, facilitating decision-making and interaction between public and private actors in a way that is beneficial to the environment.Regarding deforestation control, the prohibition of financing embargoed areas increased the effectiveness of environmental actions in the studied area, since landowners are sensitive to the availability of agricultural credit to maintain their activities.In the second case, the number of environmental occurrences decreased as there was a greater participation of environmental consultants helping in the prevention and detection of accidents.The applied questionnaires showed that the servers in the environmental area are familiar with the use of different databases in their daily activities.Together, the different information obtained during the investigation allow us to conclude that databases currently play a fundamental role in environmental management in Brazil. The maintenance and wide publicity of quality databases allowed, in addition to the simple cooperation between public institutions, the de facto social appropriation of this information. As a result, such diverse applications for these databases, ranging from use by the academic community in investigations to tracking agricultural commodities by companies, have been implemented with relevant environmental gains.As a form of improvement, it is suggested to make available a version of the platform for public consultation of areas embargoed by IBAMA, containing data on registered environmental occurrences and the registry of potentially polluting activities and companies; as well as the creation, using available data, of a list of priority municipalities for the prevention of environmental occurrences, along the lines of the list of monitored and priority municipalities for controlling deforestation.

Keywords: Databases; Environment; Public policies; Social Appropriation; Amazon