Brazil: Critics charge regulatory hand-off to local oversight undercutting PA protections
(Reuters) - Ivo Lubrinna has been wildcatting for gold in the jungle here for more than 30 years. It's a notoriously messy business, as crews strip away topsoil in the forest and along riverbanks and use mercury and other pollutants to draw precious metal from mud.
For the past two years, Lubrinna has held a second job: environment secretary for this riverside city of 100,000 people, gateway to the oldest national park and half a dozen nature reserves in Brazil's vast Amazon wilderness. As such, it's his job to protect the area from the depredations of loggers, poachers, squatters - and gold miners.
His dual role neatly divides his workdays: morning as regulator, afternoon as miner. "I have to be good early in the day," the burly, bald 64-year-old says in his stand-at-attention baritone. "In the afternoon, I watch out for myself."