Minister of Agriculture Says Its Necessary to Finally Implement Forest Code in the Amazon

Tereza Cristina says law can help against deforestation, but recognizes slowness in punishments


At a time when Brazil faces criticism for its environmental policy, Minister Tereza Cristina (Agriculture) argues that the effective implementation of the Forest Code can help reduce deforestation in the Amazon rainforest.

The measure, approved in 2012, defines the areas that must have conserved vegetation and those that can be used for agriculture and livestock. Owners suffer punishments in case of infractions.

In an interview with Folha, the minister also said that she did not believe that Brazilian exports would be affected by the eventual victory of Democrat Joe Biden in the United States over President Donald Trump. For her, the institutional relationship between the two countries must be maintained.

Tereza Cristina (Foto: Pedro Ladeira/Folhapress, PODER) - Folhapress

What mistakes were made in preserving the Amazon?

We need to implement the Forest Code once and for all. We need to stop questioning the Forest Code. It is a law; it was made; it was discussed; it is there and needs to be implemented.

Every time you have a question, a legal doubt, you delay the implementation. We need to implement this Forest Code. And do land regularization, leading to development.

Development does not mean that you will experience environmental degradation. When there is poverty, people cannot support themselves. There, you are in danger.

How to change the negative image of Brazil abroad? You have already been called "lady of deforestation."

That's something, is not it? I think showing the actions. Countries must know and respect our legislation. Members of Congress are the ones who make the laws of Brazil, and I, as a congressman, have to believe that. I came here elected by those who believe what I say. Questions can be asked.

The whole world has a concern for the environment, but they focused on Brazil. There are unequivocal things: in 66% of our territory, the native vegetation is standing.

Translated by Kiratiana Freelon

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