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Forest Code in: Amazon rainforest at risk

Forest Code in: Amazon rainforest at risk


Source : Rainforest News
The Brazilian Senate is poised to pass measures that will strip the Amazon forest and other important ecosystems of hard won protections and open up vast amounts of the forest to agriculture and cattle ranching. Senators intent on doing away with core elements of Brazil’s long-standing Forest Code – legislation protecting the most sensitive forest areas and establishing the amount of forest that can be legally converted to different uses – are pushing to vote on a drastically revised version of the code as soon as the end of the month.

The new version of the law, backed by powerful agribusiness interests, has been rushed through both the House and Senate with an alarming disregard for input from critical sectors. Input from scientists, researchers, family farmers and social groups has been systematically ignored in both the House and Senate.

"You cannot argue that a law favors Brazil’s development and well-being when so many leading experts say otherwise - says WWF-Brazil’s CEO Maria Cecilia Wey de Brito - The entire process has defied common sense."

Studies show that under the proposed revisions, natural vegetation in Brazil could be cleared or not restored on more than 175 million acres, an area roughly the size of Germany, Italy and Austria combined.

Under this worst-case scenario, more than 25 billion additional tons of CO2 would be added to the atmosphere, about four times the goal for global reductions in greenhouse gas emissions under the Kyoto Protocol during 2008-12, and 13 times Brazil’s total emissions from 2007 alone.

The proposed changes to the Forest Code severely contradict Brazil’s recent efforts to position itself as a global environmental leader. Brazil has committed to cutting by almost 40% the growth curve of greenhouse gas emissions, and to reduce Amazon deforestation by 80% compared to average rates registered for the period of 1996-2005, both by 2020. Passage of the revised Forest Code, in its current form, would likely make it impossible to meet either of these goals.


© Rainforest News

Date : 25/11/2011