New brazilian land law softens environmental regulations, WWF alarmed
The Brazilian parliament has adopted a new, hotly-debated land law. Environmentalist fear that it puts the country’s rainforest, one of the world’s richest, at high risk.
Large landowners and peasants benefit from the law, because it eases existing restrictions: landowners are no longer bound to reforest riverbanks, for example, and environmental regulations have also been softened.
The vote in the parliament was delayed for several hours, because of fierce debate between the different groups and their representatives. Some of them demanded a veto by president Rousseff. But the agricultural lobby in Brazil carries a lot of weight in parliament, and in their view, it’s crucial to expand agricultural areas to assure food security for the country. The lobby also says the new law would stabilize the legal security of peasents. A lot of them yet had the chance to stay afloat by illegal wood chopping. Opposition groups fear the law would provide amnesty for lumberjacks.
The environmental organization WWF is also wary. In a first reaction, the organization said, that Brazil will lose it’s climate credibility leading up to the climate conference in Rio de Janeiro (Rio 20) – a disastrous decision for the country. Brazil is considered to be the six largest emitter of greenhouse gases worldwide.
The law has yet to be signed by president Rousseff.
DateApril 26, 2012