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Brazilian Congress waters down forest protection

Source:  Copyright 2012, Nature
Date:  September 2, 2012
Original URL: Status ONLINE

The text of Brazil’s controversial Forest Code went through what is likely to be its final convulsion on Wednesday 29 August, after years of debate about how the country should balance the interests of farmers and developers with the need to protect the country’s forests.

Although forest protection has been enshrined in Brazilian law since the 1960s, stricter enforcement of the rules in recent years had prompted complaints from landowners, who argued that the law was hampering the country’s development.

Last year, Brazil’s Senate passed the bill in a form that gave landowners more freedom to cut into native forest (see ‘Brazilian bill weakens Amazon protection’).

In May, the lower house of Brazil’s National Congress passed a version of the bill that was even more favourable to rural interests. As Nature reported at the time (see ‘Brazil set to cut forest protection’ ), that draft of the bill was set to:

scale back forest ...

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