Brasilia, Brazil May 24, 2012 - President Dilma today vetoed parts of the new Forest Code but fell dramatically short of the demand by the Brazilian people to completely veto the new law. In an attempt to placate the majority of Brazilians opposed to the new Forest Code, Dilma has blocked 12 parts of the new law and added 32 modifications to the text. However, Dilma's administration will not reveal full details of the modifications until Monday.
"President Dilma's vague delivery of vetoes and modifications to new Forest Code leaves the people of Brazil without any assurances that the Amazon will be protected. One thing is clear Dilma has ignored the 80 percent of Brazilians who opposed to the changes to the current Forest Code and demanded a full veto, " said Paulo Adario, Greenpeace Brazil's Amazon Campaign Director.
"Instead of trying to avoid the worst parts of a bad new Forest Code, President Dilma should instead be looking for a law that actually protects Brazil's forests. To honour the will of the Brazilian people Dilma should now support the citizen's initiative for a Zero Deforestation Law in Brazil." Adario continued.
This decision by the Brazilian Government comes just before it hosts the global community at the Rio+20 UN Conference on Sustainable Development.
President Dilma is expected to use the Rio summit to celebrate Brazil's environmental record but could struggle to justify this message just weeks after signing a new Forest Code and failing to fully protect the Amazon.
The existing 76 year old Forest Code was the primary legal instrument protecting Brazil's forests including the Amazon rainforest. Over the last year the Brazilian government has systematically stripped back the laws that protect the Amazon and its people.
The Greenpeace ship 'Rainbow Warrior' is currently in the Amazon on a tour intended to expose forest crimes and to promote a petition for a 'Zero Deforestation' Law.
So far over a quarter of a million Brazilians have signed a petition for a calling for a Zero Deforestation law which would offer full protection for the Amazon. With the President's support this could become law. Greenpeace is calling on President Dilma to listen to the Brazilian people and put Brazil on a path of sustainable development. Only then can she truly be considered a world leader for sustainable development and a President acting on behalf of the people of Brazil.