Reforming Brazil’s forest law: defeat or discernment?

15 March 2012

Just three months before world leaders gather in Rio de Janeiro to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Earth Summit, Brazil’s forest law is about to be changed once again – this time, conservationists claim, not in favour of forests.
Proposed reforms to Brazil’s Forest Code, which have been debated on and off for over two years, will provide amnesty to farmers involved in illegal deforestation activities before July 2008 and reduce the area of forest that landowners need to retain thus favouring agricultural expansion. As such, the reform could be a major blow to the country’s recent success in halting deforestation.