The Brazilian Green party has denied the federal government’s attempt to explore oil and natural gas in the Fernando de Noronha archipelago, which was declared a Natural World Heritage site by UNESCO in 2001.

The offering consisted of a deeper exploration of the already existing platform in the natural basins of Potiguar, one of the closest natural basins around Fernando de Noronha. According to ICMBio (The Chico Mendes Institute for Biodiversity Conservation) and the IBAMA (Brazilian Institute of the Environment and Renewable Natural Resources), exploring Fernando de Noronha would be predatory, and it would legalize all others destruction in the marine life around the archipelago.

The archipelago of Fernando de Noronha is formed by 21 islands over an area of 26 km². The largest and only inhabited island is also called “Fernando de Noronha.” The site follows strict rules for preservation in regards to tourism in the islands. The regulations include a daily fee that can go up to five thousand reais (R$) and strict restrictions regarding the food eaten in the territory. The goal is to protect and conserve the environmental quality and living conditions of fauna and flora through the organized tourism that is compatible with the preservation of natural resources.

It is not the first time that the Green Party of Brazil has disagreements with Bolsonaro’s government when it comes to Fernando de Noronha. In November of last year, the Green party requested an investigation on the liberation of sardine fishing on the site. The clearance of this fishing rule goes against the technical decree of the body responsible for managing the Fernando de Noronha National Park. It puts the already fragile local ecosystem at risk. The Green Party also reminded the population that this act could encourage more restrictions to be forgotten as well.

Morro dos Dois Irmãos and Baia dos Porcos in Fernando de Noronha, a tropical island off the coast of Brazil

In the same month, Bolsonaro stated his support for actions that would increase tourism and fishing in Fernando de Noronha. “We will try, if possible, to federalize Fernando de Noronha, put an end to these issues, and really make a tourist hub. I heard that there is a long time not to ship there” said the Brazilian president during a live broadcast on November 5th, making a reference that cruises are not allowed to stop at Fernando de Noronha.

The offers to explore the natural basins of Fernando de Noronha are one more fight that the Green Party in Brazil is having to protect the site. “Environmental preservation and sustainable development are the only ways to reverse climate change, such as storms that destroy everything. It is the duty of the Brazilian state to promote the preservation of our ecosystem” states the Brazilian Green Party in their statement against the exploration of oil and natural gas in Fernando de Noronha.

Beatriz Neves

Beatriz Neves is a second-year student at Dawson College, where she will graduate from the Literature Profile with a minor in Journalism by 2021. She wants to continue her studies in literature and journalism at University after CEGEP. In her free time, she enjoys reading, meditation and playing tennis.

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