PSB et al. v. Brazil (on deforestation and human rights)
Jurisdiction: Federal Supreme Court
Principle law(s): Plan to Control Illegal Deforestation and Recovery of Native Vegetation (PPCDAm and PPCerrado)
Side A: Partido Socialista Brasileiro and six others (Individual)
Side B: Brazil (Government)
Core objectives: Whether Brazil's failure to curb deforestation and resulting climate change violates fundamental constitutional rights of indigenous peoples and current and future generations.
SummaryOn November 11, 2020, seven political parties in Brazil (Partido Socialista Brasileiro (PSB) and six others) brought an action against the federal government for violating fundamental constitutional rights by failing to implement the national deforestation policy, and thereby contributing to dangerous climate change. The political parties, organized by a coalition of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), allege that by failing to implement Brazil's Action Plan for Prevention and Control of the Legal Amazon Deforestation (PPCDAm), the federal government violated the fundamental rights of indigenous peoples and present and future generations.
On April 6, 2022, following Supreme Federal Court (STF) minister Cármen Lúcia´s decision that the Federal Government should resume the PPCDAm (Action Plan for the Prevention and Control of Deforestation in the Amazon Region) within the framework of ADPF 760, Minister André Mendonça requested further information, effectively putting the brakes on the ruling. In addition to determining that the Federal Government should set out a plan to combat deforestation following the guidelines of the PPCDAm (Action Plan for the Prevention and Control of Deforestation in the Amazon Region) within the next 60 days, the Minister-Rapporteur also took the stance that in the ruling of ADPF 760 and ADO 54, the STF should collaborate in strengthening government organs linked to the social-environmental agenda, like Funai (National Indian Foundation), Ibama (Brazilian Institute for the Environment and Renewable Natural Resources) and ICMBio (the Chico Mendes Institute of Conservation of Biodiversity), given the shortcomings that exist at the government level. She went on to acknowledge the “situation of unconstitutional aspects regarding illegal deforestation in the Amazon Rainforest and the failure of the Brazilian state concerning the role of protecting an ecologically balanced environment”. The minister further stated that “the right to an ecologically balanced environment is one of the human rights included in agreements that Brazil has committed to”, not only in the Constitution but also in international pacts.
Related laws and policies
PPCDAm aims to continuously and consistently reduce deforestation and create the conditions to establish a sustainable development model in the Legal Amazon.PPCerrado develops similar objectives for the Cerrado climate.