PAULO S. ALMEIDA, BEATRIZ D. OLIVEIRA
University of Sao Paulo - School of Arts, Sciences and Humanities, Graduate in Sustainability Program, Brazil
The Brazilian environmental agencies policies have attributes that issue how to use and manage the land in special protected areas, including the legalisation of lands in case of occupation by traditional communities, indigenous, or vulnerable people. Also, these policies combine the preservation of natural resources and sustainable development of the local population with food production or plantations. First, the management of these protected lands could be negligently or unfair in the view of the environmental agencies because they are the product of irregular occupations and improper use. Second, these agencies could demotivate the population by implementing environmental solutions, mainly related to counteracting deforestation and improper planting.
This paper aims to analyse and criticise the role of environmental agencies on land use in special areas called ``conservation units'' in Brazil with respect to subsistence production and irregular occupation. Finally it discusses the assessment of the importance of land use control and the presence of environmental control by the public administration. Environmental laws have kept the agencies and technical standards, however, these laws are not always used appropriately or they are sometimes flouted creating an environmental injustice. The study area ``Estação Ecológica Juréia Itatins'' is situated at the coast of Sao Paulo, Brazil, has 365 families and is currently the scene of numerous social and land conflicts due to occupation of these protected areas that have been protected by constitutional legislation as environmental preservation areas. The study is exploratory and qualitative, and is based on social study data from the Brazilian Institute IBGE that collected primary and secondary data between 2005 - 2010. In conclusion, the study shows that currently the executing agencies and their public agents are non-effective to assure a sustainable, public accountable, and social application of the environmental laws.
Keywords: Conflict over land use, environmental agencies, environmental land management, irregular use of land, public accountability, sustainability