Brazilian Demonstrators Contest Proposed Changes to Forest Law

Officials say proposed regulations would only “reward deforestation in the Amazon”

By on November 30th, 2011 08:20 GMT

Thousands of people from Brazil are discontent with the expected changes applied to the Forest Law. In their opinion, the House of Representatives and Federal Senate doesn't do good job representing the national interests, since it tends to favor only a few major players pulling the strings in “agribusiness.”

In this context, angry representatives from eco-groups, scientists, local farmers and progressive parliamentarians have decided to take this matter into their own hands and hit the streets to express their concern, WWF reports .

This is their own way of delivering a message to Brazil's President Dilma, who supposedly plans to forgive illegal deforestation, failing to preserve the balance of vulnerable areas of woodland and clearly turning his back on the ecosystem's needs.

Demonstrators reveal that they will not accept any changes applied to the environmental legal framework, aiming to protect the interests of the “ruralistas” rather than helping the Brazilian forests cope with the current threats.

Therefore, thousands of participants gathered in front of the Congress and the Três Poders Square, in Brasilia, on Tuesday to express how they feel about the anticipated modifications.

A new controversial bill will pass through the Senate for voting within a few days. It provides a legal framework meant to excuse the actions performed at the environment's expense until 2008. It might also influence the future estimations of the size of vulnerable areas taken into consideration and it could also redirect the power of decision to state and municipal authorities.

All these new regulations attract the anger of eco-conscious groups, whose representatives opted for a peaceful protest to highlight their point of view.

“Dilma will be more than justified in vetoing these points of the law in keeping with the commitments she made during the second round of the presidential election campaign,” declares former senator and ex-minister of the Environment, Marina Silva.

Other official fighting for the same cause say the feared changes would only reward deforestation in the Amazon, a biodiverse ecosystem trying to cope with increased harmful human intervention. Moreover, it seems that such regulations favoring agribusiness can put people's health in great danger.

“Agribusiness has no serious commitments to society as a whole. They release their pesticides from their crop-dusting aircraft onto the crops, families, cities forests and wild animals below,” according to Luiz Zarref from Via Campesina.

All the demonstrators say such a governmental decision could ruin the future of the next generations. So far, they have raised 1.5 million signatures to support their cause, hoping to block the bill.
Brazilian demonstrators say no to deforestation
   Brazilian demonstrators say no to deforestation
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