Catalyzing Investment in Urban Sustainability
U.S.-Brazil Joint Initiative on
Urban Sustainability


Pact for Sanitation

Policy Overview

Designed by the Rio de Janeiro State Secretariat for the Environment (SEA), the Pact for Sanitation (Pacto pelo Saneamento) program aims to universalize public sanitation in Rio de Janeiro. In 2007, when the pact was conceived, only about 60 percent of sewage was collected and only about 24 percent of that amount was treated. The program also aims to eradicate dumps and to establish municipal solid waste landfills in their place throughout the region. When the pact was designed, most of the solid waste disposed in the state still went to dumps.

Passed by decree in 2010, the Pact for Sanitation set clear goals from the outset: to bring sanitation to 80 percent of the population by 2018, and to eliminate the use of dumps within the state by 2014 and the remediate of these sites by 2016. The Brazilian federal Basic Sanitation Act (Law 11,445/2007), a part of the Federal Growth Acceleration Program (PAC), which funds the pact in Rio de Janeiro, took effect in 2007. This law protects human health through universal access to services for water supply, water treatment, storm drains, and garbage collection. The law also increases transparency in managing sanitation services, creating mechanisms to ensure public access to information, along with provisions for participation of the public in planning and evaluating services.

How to Apply this Policy

Since the Basic Sanitation Law took effect in 2007, the government has invested approximately R$ 31.4 billion (USD 15.6 billion) in basic sanitation projects, including the Pact for Sanitation, which has also received funds from the State Fund for Environmental Conservation and Urban Development (Fecam) and the National Health Foundation (Funasa). In addition to SEA, the Pact for Sanitation involves the Secretariats of Agriculture and Livestock and of Works, the State Company for Water and Wastewater (CEDAE), and Funasa. The pact is divided into two subprograms: Rio+Clean aims to universalize the collection systems for and treatment of wastewater, while the Zero Dumps works to eradicate dumps and implement municipal landfills for solid waste. Through the Pact for Sanitation and its programs, the State hopes to decrease its greenhouse gas emissions, especially of methane, improve water and soil quality, create jobs and income generating opportunities, and improve public health.

Contact Information
Rio de Janeiro State Secretariat of Environment (SEA)
Sub-Secretariat of Green Economy

Part of the Rio+Clean program being undertaken by the State starting in 2012 is the Sena Limpa project, which aims to improve the water quality of six urban beaches in Rio de Janeiro by 2014. Through improved management of the canal system, including creating and improving sewers, pumping stations, and sewage treatment facilities, the Pact for Sanitation will dramatically reduce the amount of untreated waste coming to these shores.