At the end of 2011, before government officials closed up shop for the holidays, President Dilma demanded final approval on the new Forest Code in Brazil. This new proposal condemns the Brazilian forests and is a deal between government and agribusiness that was made in back rooms and secret meetings. But strong public pressure against the dangerous new code and a lack of consensus inside the Congress prevailed and the final vote was left to 2012.
The Brazilian Congress returned to work yesterday, and the stage is set for the battle for the Amazon to resume.
Please take action: Tell Dilma to stop the new Forest Code
The new Code is on the agenda of the Chamber of Deputies to be voted on March 6th, but it could be delayed again, because some deputies are not happy with the text approved by the Senate, as it reduces the benefits earned by ruralists, including the powerful agribusiness sector. The deputies have the last say in the voting before the new law goes to President Dilma's signature and will probably propose a new version of the Forest Code that better fits their needs.
Unfortunately, this outcome would mean that the new Forest Code proposal finally approved by the Senate could get even worse.
But that isn’t everything; the Brazilian Congress is under serious pressure to vote on the new Code as soon as possible to avoid the world’s gaze as the debate moves closer to the upcoming UN conference on Sustainable Development in Rio this June. If the vote is delayed again, it could mean that President Dilma will be caught passing a law dismantling forest protection just as she is inviting world leaders to Brazil under the guise of saving the planet.
At this point, only President Dilma can put a stop to the proposed law - the new Forest Code - that could destroy the Amazon.
Tatiana Carvalho is a Greenpeace Amazon Campaigner. Photo: Greenpeace activists at the COP 17 in Durban, dressed as trees protesting the proposed Brazilian Forest Code.