Ny trussel mod Brasiliens regnskov

Forfatter billede

Omstridt ny lov, som gør det lettere at fælde regnskov, vedtaget af det brasilianske parlament. Glæde hos landboorganisationer og sortsyn hos miljøforkæmpere, der frygter det værste for de sidste store skove i Amazonas.

The Brazilian Chamber of Deputies has approved controversial legislation that eases rules on how much land farmers must preserve as forest, reports BBC online Thursday.

Brazil’s powerful farmers’ lobby argues that the changes will promote sustainable food production. But environmentalists say the new forest code will be a disaster and lead to further destruction of the Amazon.

The bill now goes to President Dilma Rousseff, who may use her veto to remove some clauses.

Under the Forest Code, which dates back to 1965, landowners must conserve a percentage of their terrain forested, ranging from 20 per cent in some regions to 80 per cent in the Amazon.

This provision remains in the new law, but environmentalists say other changes to the code will erode key protections.

Under the new bill, farmers will be able to cultivate land closer to hilltops and riverbanks, which are especially vulnerable to erosion if trees are chopped down.

The bill also provides an amnesty from fines for illegally clearing trees before July 2008, although larger landholders would have to replant most of the cleared area or preserve the same amount of land elsewhere.

Wednesday’s 247-184 vote in favour of the new forest code capped a year of political wrangling.

Deforestation of the Amazon has slowed in recent years, as a result of better law enforcement, with authorities using satellite images to track clearance.