The decision to sink the ship with asbestos provokes a reaction in Brazil: the news “Possible ecological catastrophe”. Last Minute WORLD, CURRENT headlines and events


The decision to sink the São Paulo ship in the Atlantic Ocean, which was sent back after a violent backlash on the grounds that it was carrying toxic waste and asbestos on its way to Aliaga for dismantling, also sparked a backlash in Brazil.

The Brazilian Navy’s decision to sink the ship São Paulo, which had been waiting out in the open for about three months, with asbestos, on the grounds that it was rapidly rotting due to water intake and compartment 21 was in serious danger of flooding, caused controversy in the country.

Between the Brazilian Navy and the Turkish company “Sök Denizcilik”, which will dismantle the ship, there are mutual accusations that obligations are not fulfilled, such as docking the ship, signing a repair contract, reissuing insurance.

Many institutions and organizations, from the Brazilian Minister of the Environment to non-governmental organizations, are concerned that sinking a ship in the ocean containing asbestos and other hazardous wastes could lead to an environmental disaster.

“Sinking a ship is an environmental crime”

Fernanda Giannasi, one of the founders of the Asbestos Anti-Asbestos Association, says that the ship was returned to the naval base in Rio de Janeiro four months ago and asks for a transparent re-inventory of toxic waste on the ship by independent institutions and repairs to the ship’s hull were not taken into account. and it would never have come to that.

Giannasi, contacted by VOA Turkish, said: “The Brazilian Navy has informed the Ministry of Labor that there are 9 tons of asbestos on board, which can only be removed if the ship is dismantled. I asked the Navy about pressurized compartments inside the ship, which was reported by the company and some non-governmental organizations that approved the ship’s departure. The existence of these compartments (supposedly sealed to hide the poison carried by the ship) is denied. “Sinking a ship is a clear environmental crime,” he said.

“We cannot allow a ship with this amount of poison to be sunk.”

Leandro Ramos, program director at Greenpace Brazil, points to the environmental impact that tons of asbestos and other toxic substances in the hull and paintwork will have on marine ecosystems and coastal communities that depend on the sea for their livelihoods.

Speaking to VOA Turkish, Ramos said that while there are concrete and viable alternatives to sinking the São Paulo aircraft carrier, progress on a plan that would have irreparable results is not clear and they will continue to pressure the Brazilian Navy to abandon your decision.

“If the Brazilian government truly wants to take the lead on the environmental and social agenda, it must also commit itself to protecting the ocean that surrounds the country and the communities that depend on it for their livelihoods. This case provides an opportunity to demonstrate the government’s commitment to protecting the environment and human rights through concrete action. We cannot allow a ship of this size, carrying so many poisonous substances, to be sunk. The consequences of this can be dire,” he said.

“The only solution is to find another company to buy the ship’s hull”

Marcio Ávila, Chairman of the Commission on Maritime, Customs and Port Law of the Brazilian Institute of Lawyers (IAB), who was contacted by VOA Turkish, indicated that the sinking of the ship was planned in an exclusive economic zone 350 kilometers from the coast, in international waters considered the heritage of mankind.

Experts say the location of the ship’s sinking was chosen because it is outside of protected areas, there are no documented submarine cables, and it does not interfere with projects such as wind farms.

“The only way to prevent the São Paulo from sinking is to find a company willing to buy her hull,” Avila said. If this does not happen, the costly maintenance will be covered by public funds. However, the biggest problem here is that after Turkey refused to buy the ship because it contained asbestos, other countries would probably not accept the ship, making it difficult to sell it to another company.

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