Brazil Congress set to vote on controversial forest law
The Brazilian Chamber of Deputies is set to vote on controversial legislation that stipulates how much land farmers must preserve as forest.
The bill, passed by the Senate in December, eases fines for some previous illegal clearance if farmers commit to a reforestation programme.
Farmers’ groups say the bill will promote sustainable food production.
But environmentalists say the new forest code will be a disaster and lead to further destruction of the Amazon.
The revamp of the forest code has been discussed for months, with the bill undergoing numerous changes.
It was not clear whether Tuesday’s vote would go ahead as planned, as political parties had failed to agree on the text approved by the Senate.
The farmers’ lobby, the Brazilian Confederation of Agriculture and Livestock (CNA), says the revised code will create rigorous legislation to allow for food production while protecting the country’s environmental heritage.
“The environment is essential for agriculture. We are more dependent on nature than any other human activity and we want our forests to be left standing,” said Senator Katia Abreu, president of the CNA.
Pictured: Brazil is one of the world’s biggest food producers