This Action Alert has expired and can no longer be sent. Many thanks to those who participated.

Authentication:
Request Token: Yn0NvMRuRI54khpP7KL8LO4tZxvcf70Y6AG2dWyW0c
Action Alert: Brazilian Forest Code Revisions Threaten Amazon Rainforest

Brazil's industrial agriculture lobby has forced through their Congress changes to the forest code, the primary legal instrument related to Amazon rainforest protections. It has been done without any scientific inputs, and in a way that will greatly expand industrial agriculture by reducing ecological protections. Newly elected President Dilma Rousseff must be encouraged to veto the bill, something she promised to do during the election. Efforts to address forest code deficiencies must recommence in a manner that incorporates the latest agro-ecological science regarding sustainable agriculture and the importance of large, connected and intact rainforest ecosystems within agricultural landscapes. Without a veto, recent progress in Amazon rainforest protection is at stake just as Brazil is to host the Rio+20 Earth Summit in 2012.

By Forests.org, a project of EcoInternet - December 21, 2011

Share on Facebook | |



Additional Background

Update April 26, 2012

Brazil passes divisive forest law: BBC http://bbc.in/I3xYt5 - now is time for final push on this alert

Update March 10, 2012

The protest email is now in Portuguese. Please feel free to write your own letter from the background text - or copy the sample English letter below which is an English translation of the Portuguese text - if you are uncomfortable sending the message in a language you don't understand


The Amazon rainforest is the Earth's most important ecosystem, providing services that make life possible, yet it is in serious danger. The Brazilian Congress have recently gutted Brazil’s forest protection laws under heavy pressure from agribusiness, and a new forest code bill will soon be on the President's desk (it has been slightly delayed) for signature. Revisions to the forest code seek to undermine permanently protected legal reserves, as well as public payments for ecological services and compensation for maintaining forestland in their natural state, within an agricultural landscape. The current forest code from 1965 does need revision. It has resulted in haphazard fragmentation of rainforests, and is routinely violated. However, these new revisions to the forest code have been developed without any serious contributions from the scientific community.

As rewritten, the forest code massively expands the area of ecologically intact primary rainforests under threat. Farmers are required to restore only half of what they would have been required to restore under the current law, and the bill grants amnesty for past deforestation. Other atrocious components include 1) mangrove and inland palm swamp forests are no longer protected, 2) illegally cleared forests can be replanted in toxic exotic tree plantations, 3) and restrictions upon clearing riverbanks and hillsides are removed. Farmers are rushing to cut down forests, expecting that the new law will protect them from being punished for their past crimes.

By sanctioning large-scale deforestation, Brazil’s farmers and ranchers are undermining the very ecological systems that sustain their industry. Brazilian agriculture is heavily dependent upon services generated by the vast Amazon rainforest. Brazil's top scientists have found it is possible to increase agricultural production many-fold while maintaining natural ecosystems and recovering degraded forests. Mixed agro-ecological landscapes contain more clean water, less silt in streams, more wild pollinators, and natural predators of agricultural pests. A properly written, scientifically based new forest code would move away from industrial agriculture to more ecologically sustainable agro-ecological farming methods, while protecting large areas of ecologically intact and connected primary forests. Amazon rainforest protection must focus upon keeping old forests standing for local and national advancement, and local, national, and global ecology.

Brazil has recently been struck by a string of ecologically caused catastrophes, like floods and landslides, related to forest loss and climate change. With national Brazilian rainforest protection sentiment growing, polls show that 79% of Brazilians support Dilma's veto of the forest law changes. Join us in supporting local NGO's "SOS Forests" campaign in asking President Dilma Roussef to veto the changes. Recently elected, she promised to do so when campaigning, yet we must persuade her to withstand enormous political pressure. In the past ten years Brazil has shown the world how it’s possible to reduce deforestation, protect biodiversity, sustain ecologically intact rainforest ecosystems, and maintain primary rainforests to address climate change - all while advancing their people's welfare. This Brazilian success story could be undone on the eve of Brazil hosting the world at the Earth Summit (Rio+20) in 2012.




English sample protest email (to copy over to send if you wish):

President Dilma Rousseff, President of Brazil

Dear President Dilma Rousseff,

I am emailing you to ask that you take immediate action to save Brazil's precious Amazon rainforests from clearance for industrial agriculture by vetoing changes to Brazil’s Forest Code (Código Florestal). I support the vast majority of Brazilians that want Amazon rainforest deforestation and ecological decline to end. We share their concerns that your great country's constitution is being broken, that the proposed forest code is not based upon the latest agro-ecological science, and that there has not been adequate consultation with civil society. Together we ask that you immediately veto the bill.

The Brazilian rainforest is of immense importance for your great nation's advancement and ecological sustainability - as well as for local, national, and global biodiversity, ecosystems and climate. Such natural wealth brings tremendous responsibilities. The new forest law, by sanctioning large-scale deforestation, undermines the very ecological systems that sustain agricultural industries. Brazilian agriculture is heavily dependent upon ecosystem services generated by the vast Amazon rainforest. Amazon rainforest protection must focus upon keeping old forests standing for local and national advancement, and local, national, and global ecology.

Brazil's top scientists have found it is possible to increase agricultural production many-fold while maintaining natural ecosystems and recovering degraded forests. Mixed agro-ecological landscapes contain more clean water, less silt in streams, more wild pollinators, and natural predators of agricultural pests. A properly written, scientifically based new forest code would move away from industrial agriculture to more ecologically sustainable agro-ecological farming methods, while protecting large areas of ecologically intact and connected primary forests. The forest code may need to be updated, but not under pressure from - and being written by - the agriculture lobby, while ignoring your rising nation's capable scientists.

President Dilma, it is up to you to fulfill your campaign pledge to veto the forest code. Further, you must keep Brazil's international promises to reduce deforestation by at least 80% by 2020, and maintain Brazil as a forerunner in tackling climate change by halting deforestation and the ecological diminishment caused by first-time industrial primary forest logging. In the past ten years Brazil has shown the world how it’s possible to reduce deforestation, protect biodiversity, sustain ecologically intact rainforest ecosystems, and maintain primary rainforests to address climate change - all while advancing you peoples' welfare. This Brazilian success story must not be undone on the eve of Brazil hosting the world at the Earth Summit (Rio+20) in 2012. For your great nation's people, ecological sustainability, and continued advancement - please veto the forest code immediately and start over. The world is watching.

With grave concern,


(privacy)

I do not wish to receive occasional short notifications of new action alerts (~3 a month)

In addition to new action alerts, inform me of major forest and climate policy developments (~2/month), and provide original environmental analysis (~2/month) (more information)


Your message is going to recipients. You may receive out of office or other emailed replies from protest email recipients.

Review and Edit Message

Destroying rainforests destroys agricultural potential
Destroying rainforests destroys agricultural potential  (link)

Message Title - please edit title and personalize message below (no URLs)

Your Message:


YOUR NAME, EMAIL & COUNTRY ADDED AUTOMATICALLY

bcc: YOU



Discuss

" data-num-posts="4" data-width="470">
"

   Earth Action Network Protest Participants

    People from 122 countries have sent 1,035,720 protest emails

J Outinen - Finland
B Erdman - United States
A Mm - Germany
D Potente - France
C Correia - Portugal
N P Bandaru - India
K P  - United States
S Paoluzzi - Italy
R Nash - United States
Paola - Italia
J Kidd - United Kingdom
P Karpinska - Poland
G A Amato - Italy
F A Roldán - Spain
M Wadman - United States
T Comeau - United Kingdom
J D'Orazio - United States
A Brundu - Italy
M Golano - France
P Suri - India
S Dawidek - Poland
G Armstrong - New Zealand
I Stoyanov - Bulgaria
J Bonvin - Switzerland
B Kendrick - Canada
            

** This alert requires JavaScript. Please let us know immediately if you are having difficulties sending the alert