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Brazil mulls sugar cane limit to protect wetland

Source:  Copyright 2008, Reuters
Date:  August 5, 2008
Byline:  Inae Riveras
Original URL: Status ONLINE

Brazil would restrict sugar cane planting in one of the world's largest wetland areas if the government approves a proposal to protect the Pantanal area's ecology, the Environment Ministry said on Tuesday.

The agriculture ministry has been working for a year with state-run agencies on a law to restrict cane planting in the Latin American nation amid concern about the environmental impact of the crop's rapid expansion.

Agriculture Minister Reinhold Stephanes and Environment Minister Carlos Minc met on Monday, and both support the proposal. The final decision rests with President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.

"Since it preserves the Amazon and the Pantanal, clearly defining where it can be planted in the latter region, and without cutting existing production, it seems to me that the agreement is good for everyone," Minc said in a statement.

The Pantanal, south of the Amazon basin and east of the Andes mountains, is in a vast river ...

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