Brazil's Sustainability Credentials Threatened By Changes In Forest Legislation

Nov 28, 2011 12:18 PM ET
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Posted by Antonio Pasolini

A revised version of Brazil's Forest Code, a piece of legislation that regulates the use of forest coverage on private properties in Brazil, and whose draft was approved in Congress on Wednesday (23), has sent shockwaves through the sustainability community in the country and abroad.

An incensed debate has gripped the country over the last year, which culminated in yesterday's vote. The new draft, which is designed to meet the requirements of the rural business, has been rushed through the House and the Senate and did not take into account expert opinion from scientists, who object to the new version of the law vehemently.

"The report continues to pardon those who deforested illegally and will promote more deforestation. What used to be an environmental crime now has become fantastic business", said Mrcio Astrini, Greenpeace's head of Amazon campaign.

Scientists have warned the new law will open way for the clearance of more than 175 million acres, or roughly the size of Germany, Italy and Austria combined, which would be come mostly pasture for livestock and soy monocultures to feed cattle, mostly.

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Antonio Pasolini is a Corporate Social Responsibility writer for Justmeans. A media graduate with a specialization in film and TV, Antonio Pasolini is the editor of, a top web destination for alternative energy products, news and commentary. With more than a decade's experience in journalism, Antonio has written on a wide range of topics, from technological breakthroughs by the brains at MIT to a trip to sustainable projects in the Amazon. One of his new projects involves an eco print magazine to be distributed from a selection of London shops.