Brazilian Forest Code vote delayed, but destruction spikes
by Daniel Brindis
May 19, 2011
As the Brazilian congress continues to debate the forest code and seriously consider amnesty to environmental criminals, a chunk of the amazon the size of greater Los Angeles (477 square Km) disappeared, just this past month alone (April 2011). This is a serious spike in deforestation, 8 times (800%) the rate from April 2010, according to IBAMA, the Brazilian Environmental Protection Agency.
This past week the vote was delayed once again, and now some observers in Brasilia believe that the vote will take place next week or even later. The delay is good news because President Dilma’s party delayed the vote on a worst case scenario version of the bill . Nonetheless, any bill that Agribusiness interests plan to introduce and force through will be bad news for the Amazon, its species, and its communities.
Just as the debate in the Brazilian congress escalates, so does criminal activity. IBAMA is scrambling to send field agents to Mato Grosso to stop this accelerating deforestation. Our experts in Brazil predict that the deforestation will likely increase when the dry season begins, when deforestation rates are generally higher.