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Constitution of the Federative Republic of Brazil (1988)

Title II, Chapter I, Article 5, Paragraph LXXIII:

“[A]ny citizen has standing to bring a popular action to annul an act injurious to the public patrimony or the patrimony of an entity in which the State participates … to the environment ….”

Title VIII, Chapter VI, Article 225:

“Everyone has the right to an ecologically balanced environment, which is a public good for the people’s use and is essential for a healthy life. The Government and community have a duty to defend and to preserve the environment for present and future generations.”

Title VIII, Chapter VI, Article 225:

“§1°. To assure the effectiveness of this right, it is the responsibility of the Government to:

I. preserve and restore essential ecological processes and provide for ecological management of species and ecosystems;

II. preserve the diversity and integrity of the Country’s genetic patrimony and to supervise entities dedicated to research and manipulation of genetic material;

III. define, in all units of the Federation, territorial spaces and their components that are to be specially protected, with any change or suppression permitted only through law, prohibiting any use that compromises the integrity of the characteristics that justify their protection;

IV. require, as provided by law, a prior environmental impact study, which shall be made public, for installation of works or activities that may cause significant degradation of the environment;

V. control production, commercialization and employment of techniques, methods and substances that carry a risk to life, the quality of life and the environment;

VI. promote environmental education at all levels of teaching and public awareness of the need to preserve the environment;

VII. protect the fauna and the flora, prohibiting, as provided by law, all practices that jeopardize their ecological functions, cause extinction of species or subject animals to cruelty.

§2°. Those who exploit mineral resources are obligated to restore any environmental degradation, in accordance with technical solutions required by the proper governmental agencies, as provided by law.

§3°. Conduct and activities considered harmful to the environment shall subject the violators, be they individuals or legal entities, to criminal and administrative sanctions, irrespective of the obligation to repair the damages caused.

§4°. The Brazilian Amazonian Forest, the Atlantic Forest, the Serra do Mar, the Pantanal of Mato Grosso, and the Coastal Zone are part of the national patrimony, and they shall be utilized, as provided by law, under conditions assuring preservation of the environment, including use of natural resources.

§5°. Lands necessary to protect natural ecosystems, which are vacant or which have reverted to the States through discriminatory actions, are inalienable.

§6°. Power plants with nuclear reactors shall be located as defined in federal law and may not be installed otherwise.”