A year after the tragedy caused by the breakage of the Fundão Dam in Mariana (state of Minas Gerais), the federal government reinforced the need for coordinated and integrated actions between the various public and private agencies and companies involved. In total, 39 recovery programmes are being monitored and inspected by the Executive branch in the region.

For Environment Minister Sarney Filho (photo), it is essential to draw lessons from the episode. Thousands of residents lost their homes in the disaster, which killed 19 people. “The government’s role is to coordinate, demand and monitor, but also to make all the arrangements so we can be confident that no such tragedy will happen again,” said Sarney Filho.

Under Brazilian law, it is the responsibility of the company that caused the environmental damage to repair it. However, the Environment Minister believes the legislation that regulates mining needs to be modified. “We can no longer have legislation that favours mining at the expense of the safety of the populations directly and indirectly involved in the activity,” he said.