With garbage affecting navigation, Navy and MPF prepare a program against illegal disposal

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RASÍLIA - The formation of garbage dumps on the coast, in rivers and in lakes began to affect navigation. Faced with more and more frequent interruptions to maritime and inland waterways, the federal government and the Federal Public Ministry drew up a program to combat irregular discharge into waters. The proposal is to seek ways to punish offenders of the environment and encourage, with a budget plan, city halls to clean up beaches and springs.

A 2018 survey shows that 25 million tons of waste go to the sea every year, 2 million of which in Brazil alone. Half of that waste is plastic material. It is estimated that around 100,000 marine animals and one million birds die each year from ingesting manufactured or processed solid materials, such as cigarette filters, glass, metal and wood.

Estimates are that 80% of marine litter originates on land, reaching the oceans through rivers, which indicates a need for better management of water resources and solid waste, starting from the municipalities. Hence the mobilization of the Ministry of the Environment with city halls.

To the State, the commander of the Navy, Admiral Ilques Barbosa Júnior, said that cleaning the waters is essential for safe navigation and safeguarding lives. "We must act together to prevent the accumulation of this garbage or we will have to accept the consequences," he said.

He complains about sofas, TV tubes and refrigerators that put at risk especially small and medium-sized boats on rivers and at sea. "It's absurd," he comments. A cooperation agreement will be signed between several federal government agencies and the Public Ministry so that there is greater inspection.

By adhering to the National Plan to Combat Garbage at Sea, one of the government's initiatives to clean water, mayors will be able to access resources from 75 financial modalities for waste management. This fund includes US$ 500 million from the Bank of the BRICS - a group of countries formed by Brazil, Russia, India, South Korea and South Africa - destined to the treatment of garbage and improvement of the environmental conditions of municipalities, informs the Secretary of Environmental Quality of the Ministry of the Environment, André França.

Last week, the commander of the Navy met with the Attorney General of the Republic, Raquel Dodge, to talk about the issue. "The participation of the Public Ministry is important in the effort that involves the Ministry of Defense, the Armed Forces and the Ministry of the Environment, as it is necessary to enforce the country's legal system in relation to those who pollute the Blue Amazon and inland waters" , said.

The commander explains that the Public Ministry can charge municipalities and environmental agencies to punish those who are degrading the waters. He also observes that the Navy can collaborate by inspecting vessels, taking action to combat fishing during closed seasons and approaching those who throw garbage and contaminate rivers.