Environmental law in Brazil
Compromise or deadlock?
The president’s effort to balance the claims of forests and farms has satisfied few. An opportunity to promote sustainable farming may be missed
BRAZIL’S gridlocked Congress often ends up passing contentious laws only after the combatants collapse in exhaustion. So it is with the revision of the Forest Code, a set of rules that, despite the name, apply to all privately owned rural land, not just plots in wooded areas. The code, originally approved in 1965, requires owners to keep native vegetation on parts of their land—80% in the Amazon, less elsewhere—and in erosion-prone and biodiverse areas such as riverbanks and mangrove swamps. But it was long ignored.
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