• About
  • Forestry Investment
  • World Forestry Update
  • Archives
  • Categories
  • Forest Code Amendment Passes Crucial Vote

    2010 - 07.14

    In a move lamented by indigenous groups, scientists, social NGOs and environmental campaigners the controversial amendments to Brazil´s Forest Code has passed a crucial vote in the Congress’s Special Committee on Forest Law Changes. This move could see dramatic increases in deforestation as it threatens to open up an additional 85 million hectares for legal clearing in the Amazon.

    The alternate bill will also reduce the level of forest cover protecting the river and stream banks. The control of the land clearing in these areas would be given over to the regional and local authorities who are largely under the influence of large landowners and agribusiness interests.

    It was the gradual strengthening of the Forest Code and the more recent improvements in enforcing the code that has lead to Brazil’s success in scaling back the horrific levels of deforestation in the Amazon over recent years.

    However research presented at a seminar earlier in the year by NGOs including the WWF showed clearing exceeded the legal requirements by over 40%. The bill proposes to offer amnesties on existing fines for illegal clearing; in essence this would make the illegal clearing legal. In the WWF-Brazil’s opinion the amendments were hardly debated and as it is likely that it will be passed by the Lower House then it will nullify all the efforts the Brazilian Government has gone to in order to preserve Brazil’s forests.

    The only real chance of the bill being halted is if President Lula chooses to veto it. However with the elections coming up in October controversial legislation such as this, traditionally either takes a back seat in the immediate run up to the election or is pushed through by the present government.

    The Timber Investment Blog is sponsored by Greenwood Management. For more information on investing in Forestry please click here

    Your Reply