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Making Law MatterEnvironmental Protection and Legal Institutions in Brazil$
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Lesley K. McAllister

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780804758239

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804758239.001.0001

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Strong Laws, Weak Agencies

Strong Laws, Weak Agencies

(p.20) 2 Strong Laws, Weak Agencies
Making Law Matter
Stanford University Press

This chapter focuses on Brazil's environmental agencies and the administrative enforcement of environmental laws in Brazil. The first part describes the evolution of environmental laws and administrative agencies at the federal and state levels. The states of São Paulo and Pará represent two sides of the spectrum in terms of their institutional capacity for environmental enforcement. The relatively wealthy, industrialized São Paulo of southern Brazil has been the country's leader in this regard while Pará and other poorer states in northern Brazil have lagged behind. The second part considers the problems faced by environmental agencies. In São Paulo and several other southern states, where agencies were once fairly strong institutions, they have experienced decline. In Pará and many other northern states, agencies have remained small and ill-equipped to deal with the extent of the state's environmental problems. The final part of the chapter describes the environmental enforcement instruments and activities of environmental agencies. It shows that the weakness of environmental agencies is reflected in their records of environmental enforcement. The chapter reaffirms the conventional wisdom that, despite the strength of Brazilian environmental laws, environmental agencies are constrained in their capacities to implement and enforce them.

Keywords:   Brazil, environmental law enforcement, environmental agencies, administrative agencies, São Paulo, Pará

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