Brazilian Loggers Double Amazon Deforestation Hoping for Amnesty

Logging in the Brazilian Amazon In Brazil, deforestation rates in the Amazon, the world’s biggest rain forest, more than doubled last month as farmers become more confident they’ll be granted amnesty for illegal logging.

Almost 268 square kilometers of protected rain forest were cut down in May, up from 110 square kilometers a year ago, the National Institute for Space Research informed.

Brazil lawmakers are considering a bill that alters its forestry code and would forgive farmers who illegally cleared trees. The possibility that the government may ease these restrictions is encouraging more logging, said Márcio Astrini, coordinator of forest campaigns for Greenpeace International’s Brazil unit.

“Brazil has been reducing its deforestation for the last five years and this bill comes along and now it shoots up,” Astrini said. “There is only one reason why deforestation is increasing: it’s called the forestry code,” which may be changing.

The bill was approved by Brazil’s lower house May 24 by a 410-63 vote. The Senate has not yet voted on it and President Dilma Rousseff has vowed to veto the legislation if it does pass.

If the bill is approved in its current form, farmers won’t have to replant trees that were illegally cut prior to July 2008, an estimated 30 million hectares (twice the area of neighboring Uruguay), according to a study by government research agency Instituto de Pesquisa Econômica Aplicada, IPEA. Under Brazil’s current forestry code, penalties for illegal logging include fines and a requirement to replant trees.

Some farmers are stepping up their illicit activities in the hope the government “will hand out further amnesties in the future,” or won’t be able to discern which trees were cut after the 2008 deadline, according to Fabio Alves, a specialist for IPEA.

About 35% of forests cleared in May were in Mato Grosso, Brazil’s biggest soy-producing state, according to Sao Jose dos Campos-based National Institute for Space Research.

Mercopress

Tags:

You May Also Like

Brazil’s Rich Foreign Market for Exotic Animal Products

Brazilian exports of exotic products of animal origin like chicken, turkey and ox testicles ...

Astral Convergence

Rancharia is 1 of 49 special projects in the state of Bahia supporting 2,250 ...

Since Kidnapping Brazilian Reporters Are Being Escorted by Bodyguards

Brazil’s leading TV network, Globo, has implemented some security changes around its news crews ...

Brazilian Market Rebounds Despite Fears That Lula Might Be Tainted by Corruption

Latin American shares mostly rebounded, led by Brazil’s return to positive territory, following a ...

Brazil’s Piracy Costs US Economy Close to US$ 1 Billion a Year, Says Group

The American group Defenders of Property Rights (DPR) today, March 16, announced that it ...

Villaventura, an Ambassador of Brazil’s High Couture

Brazilian clothing designer Lino Villaventura, of national and international renown, started his career in ...

Brazil-Arab Trade Exceeding Expectations

Brazilian exports to the Arab countries grew 18% in the first months of this ...

When the Muzzle Was King

Over a period of 10 years, starting December 13, 1968, Brazil lived under AI-5 ...

Brazil and US: The Black-White Divide

When Americans are confronted with the existence of differential treatment of Brazilians by color, ...

Brazil Condemns London Terror Attack and Sends Condolence Message

Brazil’s Planalto Palace press office released the contents of a condolence message sent by ...