Brazil lawmakers approve controversial amendments to forest code

[JURIST] The Brazilian Senate [official website, in Portuguese] voted 59-7 Tuesday to approve amendments [materials, in Portuguese] to the country's Forest Code. Supporters of the bill, including Brazil's National Agriculture and Livestock Federation [official website], say that this change will assist in lowering the carbon emissions while continuing to require farmers and ranchers to preserve significant amount of forest. On the other hand, critics of the new bill, such as the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) [advocacy website] argue [press release], that the new bill will create extended amnesty for those who cut down the forest illegally and promote the continuance of such practice. The amended legislation will now return to the lower house, which approved an earlier version [JURIST report] in May, and then to President Dilma Rousseff [BBC profile]. It remains to be seen how these changes to Brazil's Forest Code will affect deforestation and the global climate.

Currently, the UN Climate Change Conference [official website] is taking place in Durban to focus on the threat of climate change. Weeks before the conference, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) [official website] released [JURIST report] the Summary for Policymakers [text, PDF], which outlined available options to decrease risks posed by extreme disasters including effects arising out of increased greenhouse gases. In July, the UN Security Council [official website] made its first official statement [JURIST report] that the climate change is most likely to pose a serious threat to world peace and security.

 

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