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Temer Vetoes Cut in National Forest, But Will Propose Another Reduction

06/20/2017 - 10h51

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GUSTAVO URIBE
FROM BRASÍLIA

FABIANO MAISONNAVE
SPECIAL ENVOY TO OSLO

PHILLIPPE WATANABE
FROM SÃO PAULO

President Temer on Monday (the 19th) vetoed provisional legislation (MP) that would have reduced the level of protection in part of the National Forest (Flona) of Jamanxim, in the state of Pará.

The bill, amended in the Lower House and passed in both the House and in the Senate, would have determined the transformation of 486 thousand hectares of the Forest into an Environmental Protection Area (APA), the category with the lowest level of protection, which allows for private ownership and rural activities, including mining and agriculture. The measure would have legalized dozens of grileiros (land-grabbers) and posseiros (squatters).

However, the Environmental Minister, Sarney Filho (Junior), announced that the President will be sending the National Congress a bill with the content of the original proposal - the reduction of the level of protection on 300 thousand hectares of forest, an area equivalent to two cities the size of São Paulo.

Sarney Junior stated that the MP didn't have a solid legal base, which could have provoked a judicial dispute. He went on to say that one of the problems with the MP was the lack of a technical finding from ICMBio (Chico Mendes Institute for the Conservation of Biodiversity), which is responsible for management of the Flona.

The Minister signaled that such a finding is forthcoming and will be favorable to the creation of the APA.

The change in the Jamanxim National Forest has been criticized by environmentalists and goes against a 2009 report from ICMBio itself, which indicated that only 35 thousand hectares should be excluded from the forest.

Translated by LLOYD HARDER

Read the article in the original language

Avener Prado/Folhapress
Aerial view of the Jamanxim National Forest
Aerial view of the Jamanxim National Forest

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