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2016-08_dc

D+C  e-Paper  August 2016 33 businesses still have too much leeway for exploiting resources without paying attention to environmental risks and ecological impacts. It is too easy for them to operate on indigenous land, for example, or in areas where nature is supposed to be protected. Moreover, it needs to be monitored whether they are keeping their facilities in good shape. A reform of the mining code was announced in 2013, but its draft pays little attention to the environ- ment. The main priority is to cut red tape, speed up mining operations and boost corporate productivity. On the other hand, the National Mining Plan 2030 does propose measures to promote environmental sustainability in the sector. Good intentions, however, are not enough. Coherent action and stringent legis- lation are necessary. The best laws, however, are worthless unless they are enforced. It is irritating that government spend- ing for monitoring the mining industry is actually in decline. According to Contas Abertas, a non-govern- mental organisation, federal authorities only spent 13.2 % of the funds allocated to oversight programmes in 2015. Brazil’s national government is currently rocked by crisis. President Dilma Rouseff has been suspended from office in impeachment proceed- ings, and Michel Temer, the acting president, does not have a firm grip on power, not least because he is being named in the context of corruption allegations (see D+C/E+Z e-Paper 2016/06, p. 11). Given the severe recession the country is suffer- ing, it does not look as if his cabinet would regu- late the mining sector more stringently soon. As in the past, fast growth seems the top priority. The price will eventually have to be paid. The lessons of Mariana should be heeded by all levels of gov- ernment. Renata Buriti is a post-graduate student at the Cologne University of Applied Sciences and specialises in water-resource governance. [email protected] Rescue mission in November 2015. Basso/NurPhoto/picture-alliance

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