Opinion - 2014


By John Sydenstricker-Neto, Isa Baud, Karin Pfeffer

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Civil Defense departments are central in addressing environmental problems, including prevention, rescue, humanitarian assistance, and reconstruction. In recent years, Civil Defense departments have been on the spot as various cities in the country have been severely impacted by floods and landslides, leading to displacement of entire neighbourhoods, deaths, social fragmentation, and significant damage of urban infrastructure. However, historically, Civil Defense departments in Brazil have played a secondary role, at most, in municipal administration (budget, personnel, local policy and programs).


According to the 2013 national municipal survey (MUNIC) conducted by the Brazilian Population Bureau (IBGE), more than 50% of the 5,571 Brazilian municipalities have no Civil Defense department. Only 1,040 municipalities have such a department with a staff of 10 or more, including technical staff, administrative personnel and temporary employees. A decade ago, the scenario was even worse as several municipalities and state/ federal agencies have invested in disaster management initiatives in that area in recent years in response to the impact of major environmental disasters.


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Chance2Sustain Opinion Series - ISSN 2308-0965

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