POST-GRADUATION IN ENVIRONMENTAL LAW
Coordinator: PROF. DR. ERIVALDO CAVALCANTI E SILVA FILHO
Vice-coordinator: PROFA. DRA. SILVIA MARIA DA SILVEIRA LOUREIRO
Course Secretary: RAIMUNDA ALBUQUERQUE DE OLIVEIRA
The Amazonas State University’s Post-Graduate Program in Environmental Law, recognized by CAPES, was constructed in an academic space of reflections on Law, especially Environmental Law, with the purpose of forming professionals to make up the faculty of higher education institutions in the region, creating its own specialized staff, qualifying staff for the development of research, including its graduate students in order stimulate this activity since the beginning of the Law course; train professionals for the use and construction of judicial instruments in order to promote social and economic development associated to the rational use of natural resources; produce and spread knowledge adjusted to the regional demands of the private and public sectors, promoting the integration of diverse economic practices (industrial, extractive and phyto-therapeutic and biotechnological, among others) for sustainable development and, lastly, create excellent technical Environmental Law teams, solidly based in the interdisciplinary perspective, seeking the necessary synergy of judicial research, natural and social science and humanities.
On the other hand, the course seeks to attend the enormous demand in the country, the state and especially in the Amazon for specialized professionals to fill legal and technical vacancies related to the environment; consolidate a nucleus of qualified, scientifically trained professionals, with the purpose of reflecting critically on the teaching of Law in the Amazonas state, as well as in the region; qualify professionals sensitive to social and regional complexities, and create new normative and hermeneutical alternatives that are viable for the sustainable use of natural resources, promote a solid articulation between teaching and research, encourage discussion and debate of thematic content, comprehend Law as an instrument for communication and social transformation.
The history of the Amazonas state and of the Amazon as a whole is marked by development cycles focused almost exclusively on exploration of natural resources, such as extractive activities, fishing, rubber, mining, forestry, hydroelectric energy and, more recently, cultural and genetic patrimony.
The State maintains the largest biodiversity reserve and forest in the world, showing itself to be the most fertile to be explored, which could be conducted in a rational and sustainable manner, or unfortunately in a predatory manner.
As well as being extremely diverse in genetic resources and traditional knowledge, the Amazonas state possesses the most cultural diversity due to the presence of multiple ethnicities and indigenous tribes, migrants and “caboclas”.
The social and environmental diversities produce a rich culture, which corresponds to the state´s richness in natural resources. In this sense, it would be correct to say that the concern over the environment cannot be disassociated from the complex cultural considerations. Man is part of nature; therefore, nature should be preserved in its complexity, seeing as the degradation of the environment reflects in human life in various aspects. Man´s quality of life depends on the balance between him and the environment, which means that the protection of nature and the discipline in appropriating it economically are indispensible human necessities for our continued existence.
The discussions on the legal protection of the environment, on the interaction between environmental regulation and factual reality, as well as theoretical analysis of the position of environmental law in the judicial universe correspond to the principal interests of the program.
The region has serious problems stemming from this natural, socio-cultural and historical complexity, among which it is important to point out the following questions: urbanization and infrastructure; the insertion of the Manaus Free Industrial Trade Zone and environmental conformity; mining; the implantation of highways and transport; agricultural settlements; eco-tourism; hydroelectric potential; bio-prospection; the international dimension of the Amazon forest and river basin, and the co-habitation with and appreciation of the traditional and indigenous cultures.
Dealing with these questions is impossible without an interdisciplinary approach and these questions are the reasons for defining the focus of the Environmental Law course. The characteristics of the Post-Graduation course in Environmental Law are consistent with this perspective, principally in the make-up and flexibility of the curriculum which is specifically judicial with the insertion of humanities, history, economics and natural sciences classes, and space for technical dealings for problem solving and for critical reflections. The adopted research topics, “Conservation of Natural Resources and Sustainable Development” and “Partners’ Rights and Biodiversity” lead to full studies into areas little developed in Brazil, even though they are conductors of the answers to the social and environmental questions. Examples of this endeavor are the program´s on-going research projects – “Natural Resources and Judicial Bases for the Construction of Sustainable Development in the Amazon” and “The Human Right to the Ecologically Balanced Environment – Human Rights in the Protection of Social and Environmental Diversity”.
In this sense, it is important to highlight the role of biotechnology, contemplated by one of the research topics. At the end of 2002, the Amazonas Biotechnology Center (CBA) was inaugurated, which is a complex of laboratories which should concentrate its actions and investments in the scientific, technological and innovation fields. Currently, the CBA needs manpower to operate it. The emphasis of the Post-Graduate Program in Environmental Law in its classes focused on judicial questions regarding biotechnology, bio-ethics, access and use of biodiversity, the protection of natural and cultural patrimony, rights to traditional knowledge and intellectual property, aims to legally subsidize this important economic center.
The formation of specialized teams of staff to overcome the needs in the higher education system as well as in the public and private institutions of the region and the construction of specific knowledge through research dedicated to Environmental Rights and their profound relationships with other sciences – humanities, social and natural sciences – present themselves as urgent needs for the Amazon and for Brazil, thus projecting it onto a worldwide scale.