Last update:
2020-10-16

Conexão-Abrolhos campaign against the auction of oil and gas blocks, Brazil

In October 2019, the National Petroleum Agency of Brazil, without an exploitation license, auctioned four oil and gas blocks close to the Abrolhos region. The CONEXÃO ABROLHOS group working on marine conservation initiated a campaign against this auction.


Description:

On October 2019, the National Petroleum Agency of Brazil, without an exploitation license, auctioned four oil and gas blocks close to the Abrolhos region. These four blocks correspond to 298,574 hectares [1], and represent 0.3% (US$ 2,014,248.60) of the total auction profits [2]. The mitigation areas established for these blocks are not enough to protect the Marine Park, and Brazil lacks a structured system to take action in case of any disaster. As an example of this is the oil leak that started in July 2019, which reached almost the entire northeast coast of Brazil, whose consequences were intensively – and almost exclusively - fought by the local traditional communities of fisherman and “marisqueiras" (communities, mostly formed by women, that collect clams that are used for feeding and artisanal activities) [3].

See more
Basic Data
Name of conflict:Conexão-Abrolhos campaign against the auction of oil and gas blocks, Brazil
Country:Brazil
State or province:Bahia
Location of conflict:Between Salvador and Ilheus
Accuracy of locationMEDIUM (Regional level)
Source of Conflict
Type of conflict. 1st level:Fossil Fuels and Climate Justice/Energy
Type of conflict. 2nd level:Establishment of reserves/national parks
Oil and gas exploration and extraction
Tourism facilities (ski resorts, hotels, marinas)
Wetlands and coastal zone management
Other
Oil and gas refining
Aquaculture and fisheries
Specific commodities:Crude oil
Natural Gas
Project Details and Actors
Project details

It is still in auction stage, so there is no specific project for exploitation yet.

Project area:298,574
Level of Investment:2,014,248.60
Type of populationSemi-urban
Affected Population:100,000
Start of the conflict:01/08/2019
Relevant government actors:MMA (Ministery of the Environment).

IBAMA (Brazilian Institute of the Environment and Renewable Natural Resources). It is the administrative arm of the Ministery of the Environment.

MME (Ministery of Mines and Energy).

ANP (National Agency of Petroleum, Natural Gas and Biofuels). It is the federal organ responsible for the regulation of oil, natural gas and biofuels' industries in Brazil. It is the Federal autarchy related to the Ministry of Mines and Energy.
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:Conexão Abrolhos - http://conexaoabrolhos.com.br/
International Conservation Brasil - https://www.conservation.org/brasil
OCEANA Brasil - https://brasil.oceana.org/pt-br
Rare Conservation Brasil - https://rare.org/
SOS Mata Atlântica - https://www.sosma.org.br/
WWF Brasil - https://www.wwf.org.br/
Liga das Mulheres pelos Oceanos (The Women’s League for the Ocean) - https://www.mulherespelosoceanos.com.br/
Conflict & Mobilization
IntensityMEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
Reaction stagePREVENTIVE resistance (precautionary phase)
Groups mobilizing:Indigenous groups or traditional communities
International ejos
Local ejos
Local government/political parties
Neighbours/citizens/communities
Local scientists/professionals
Fisher people
Forms of mobilization:Creation of alternative reports/knowledge
Development of a network/collective action
Involvement of national and international NGOs
Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism
Media based activism/alternative media
Official complaint letters and petitions
Public campaigns
Street protest/marches
Impacts
Environmental ImpactsPotential: Air pollution, Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Food insecurity (crop damage), Global warming, Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Oil spills, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, Reduced ecological / hydrological connectivity
Health ImpactsPotential: Exposure to unknown or uncertain complex risks (radiation, etc…), Other environmental related diseases, Other Health impacts
Other Health impactsContamination of natural resources used as food.
Socio-economical ImpactsPotential: Increase in Corruption/Co-optation of different actors, Displacement, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures
Outcome
Project StatusProposed (exploration phase)
Conflict outcome / response:Court decision (failure for environmental justice)
Although the blocks are still in permanent auction, the oil companies have not given any offers for them yet, which is somehow due to the high environmental and social risk, as well as the campaign efforts by Conexao Abrolhos.
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:No
Briefly explain:Even though the oil exploitation is not happening yet, the blocks are still available for purchase, since the auction is a permanent auction. Considering the actual political context in Brazil and the anti-environmentalist wave that have been growing, this possibility of offering a bid to the auction still presents a future threat to the environment and to the local communities.
Sources & Materials
Related laws and legislations - Juridical texts related to the conflict

Manifestação Conjunta MME e MMA, 16 Rodada de Licitações de Blocos Exploratórios. Ministry of Mines and Energy and Ministry of the Environment, 2019. [Online].
[click to view]

B. Valente, A. Ferreira. “Bacia de Camamu-Almada: Sumário geológico e setores em oferta”, ANP, Rio de Janeiro, 2019. [online].
[click to view]

Links to general newspaper articles, blogs or other websites

[2] B. Jucá. “Leilão de blocos de óleo e gás ignora alerta do IBAMA e assombra Parque Nacional de Abrolhos”, El País, Oct. 9, 2019. [Online].
[click to view]

[3] Conexao Abrolhos, Exploração de petróleo volta a ameaçar Abrolhos, V3_1, 2019. [Online].
[click to view]

[7] G. Serodio, “Parlamentares mobilizados contra blocos na Bahia na 16ª rodada da ANP”, EPBR, Oct. 9, 2019. [Online].
[click to view]

[4] Manifestação Conjunta MME e MMA, 16 Rodada de Licitações de Blocos Exploratórios. Ministry of Mines and Energy and Ministry of the Environment, 2019. [Online].
[click to view]

[5] A. Estado, “Exploração de petróleo na costa ameaça Abrolhos”, Globo, Sep. 2, 2011. [Online].
[click to view]

[6] J. Gesisky, “Campanha aponta riscos da exploração de petróleo e gás em Abrolhos”, WWF, Sep. 19, 2019. [Online].
[click to view]

[8] M. Silva de Sousa, “Brazil: No bids received for oil fields near coral reef”, abc NEWS, Oct. 10, 2019. [Online].
[click to view]

[1] B. Valente, A. Ferreira. “Bacia de Camamu-Almada: Sumário geológico e setores em oferta”, ANP, Rio de Janeiro, 2019. [online].
[click to view]

Meta information
Contributor:Natalia Brandao Vieira, Central European University, [email protected]
Last update16/10/2020
Comments
Legal notice / Aviso legal
We use cookies for statistical purposes and to improve our services. By clicking "Accept cookies" you consent to place cookies when visiting the website. For more information, and to find out how to change the configuration of cookies, please read our cookie policy. Utilizamos cookies para realizar el análisis de la navegación de los usuarios y mejorar nuestros servicios. Al pulsar "Accept cookies" consiente dichas cookies. Puede obtener más información, o bien conocer cómo cambiar la configuración, pulsando en más información.