Brazil Opens Amazon for Logging and Greenpeace Applauds

Brazil has approved a law granting licenses for wood logging in publicly owned sections of the Amazon rainforest, a move aimed at halting its destruction.

Under the new law – signed by Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva – timber companies will be given up to 40-year licenses under the condition that all logging be sustainable.

Independent inspections of licensed sites are to be carried out every five years. Critics of the law have argued this is not often enough.

But environmental groups and experts have hailed the new law as a milestone in the fight to preserve the Amazon, about 17 percent of which has been destroyed to date, studies say.

Lula noted that the agreement broke a long deadlock over how to deal with the Amazon Basin.

"Even up to a few years ago, there was no real dialogue about the rainforest – it was war. One was either for the destruction of the rainforest, or considered the Amazon a sanctuary that was not to be touched," he said.

The Amazon has long suffered from an illegal and violent logging trade. A prominent US nun and environmental activist was fatally shot a year ago in the Pará state, by the order of two ranch owners.

Pará state is the site of much of the illegal logging in the country – and is believed to even harbor slave trade.

About 75 percent of the rain forest is publicly owned, and the government plans to offer commercial access to three percent of the rainforest in its possession over the next 10 years.

International environmental activist group Greenpeace welcomed the new law.

"Timber companies will be forced to respect the law, and to exploit the rainforest only in a manner that is sustainable," said Paulo Adario, coordinator of the group’s campaign in the Amazonian region.

Lula’s government came under heavy criticism last year for failing in its pledge to combat increased logging, causing the Green Party to leave the coalition government.

The resignation was sparked by figures showing 2003-2004 to have been the second worst logging year for the Amazon, when 26,000 square km of forest were destroyed – about half the size of Switzerland.

The Amazon forest was once as big as the whole of western Europe but logging and cattle ranching in recent decades have already removed an area the size of France from the forest.

Experts say the Amazon is even more important to the world’s climate than previously thought.

Not only does it soak up vast quantities of carbon dioxide which adds to the greenhouse effect if it is released through burning, but destruction of the forest is now thought to affect rainfall patterns across wide areas of the world.

Mercopress – www.mercopress.com

Tags:

  • Show Comments (0)

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

comment *

  • name *

  • email *

  • website *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Ads

You May Also Like

Brazil Uses Soccer Imagery to Vaccinate 16 Million Against Polio

Consolidated data from the first phase of Brazil’s National Vaccination Campaign Against Child Paralysis, ...

US Hospitals’ Discarded Sheets Being Sold in Stores and Used in Hotels in Brazil

Brazil’s federal public prosecutor has asked Pernambuco state’s Federal Police (PF) to open an ...

Brazil Air Tragedy: US Pilots Talk. Where Were the Controllers, They Ask

More than two months and a half after Brazil’s deadliest air accident ever and ...

Presidents Lula and Bush

Lula’s Popularity is Low in the Americas, But Bush’s Is Even Lower

Ecuador's president Rafael Correa is the Latin American leader with most support in the ...

Brazil’s Gol Expecting to Raise Up to US$ 350 Million in Global Market

Brazilian Airline Gol has filed a registration statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission ...

More is Less

When created in 1940 by President Getúlio Vargas, the Brazilian minimum wage had considerably ...

Calling the Tune

Which are the best Brazilian songs ever? Seven among the 10 best were composed ...

Clear Act of Dealing with the Unexpected

The more he thought the more the desire pierced him, the more his body ...

US$ 12 Billion Deal: Shell to Get Into Ethanol Business in Brazil

The world’s largest ethanol and sugar processor, Brazil’s Cosan, announced Monday it signed an ...

Canada Firm Bets on Brazilian Diamonds

Canada-based Braz Diamond Mining Inc. now controls Brazil’s largest known diamondiferous kimberlite. The company ...