Peru president enacts legislative decree for startup funding of new Environment Ministry

Peru President Alan Garcia enacted emergency legislative decree Nº 023-2008 Thursday to transfer 12 million soles, or about $4.2 million, to the newly created Environment Ministry after Congress refused to allow the transfer two weeks ago.

Provisions in the decree, published this morning in the official state daily El Peruano, authorize Environment Minister Antonio Brack to temporarily hire additional personnel to get his new ministry up and running. But after this 60-day period, Brack will have to rely exclusively on personnel transferred from the now defunct National Environment Council (Conam).

Garcia enacted the Environment Ministry by legislative decree without approval from Congress May 13 as Peru rushed to meet environmental provisions included in its trade pact with the United States. The ministry’s creation also coincided with a meeting of Latin-American and European politicians for a summit that dealt closely with global climate change.

Angered legislators, who argued that by law it is exclusively Congress’ responsibility to approve the creation of a new ministry, purportedly failed to make the 12 million soles allocation two weeks ago.

The emergency decree was signed by Garcia, President of the Council of Ministers Jorge del Castillo, Environment Minister Antonio Brack and Economy and Finance Minister Luis Carranza.

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