Movements and NGOs march against the new Forest Code

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

marchWith the vote on reform of Brazil's Forest Code set for this Tuesday (24), fifteen hundred activists from civil society organizations marched this morning on the Ministries Esplanade in Brasília. “We are opposed to changes that will affect familial and peasant farming. The report drawn up by Aldo [Aldo Rebelo, Communist Party of Brazil - São Paulo] reflects the interests of agribusiness and the tree-cutters”, announced the leader of the Movement of Small Farmers (MPA), Roseli Sousa, from the top of a sound truck.

 Other organizations that participated in the march included the National Federation of Workers in Family Farming (FETRAF), Movement of People Affected by Dams (MAB), The Landless Workers' Movement (MST), the Central Única dos Trabalhadores (CUT), the NGO Greenpeace, the WWF and SOS Climate Earth. Federal deputies Father Tom (Workers' Party – Rodônia), Ivan Valente (Socialism and Freedom Party – São Paulo) and Marcon (Workers' Party – Rio Grande do Sul).

 Marchers were stopped by the Senate Police from reaching the National Congress. Supporters of Aldo Rebelo's project however had been welcomed into the Congress and were treated to an early breakfast in the lobby (Chapelaria). After the intervention of some federal deputies, the opposition protesters were granted entry.

 This Tuesday's session began about 10 o'clock in the morning and will continue throughout the afternoon. The House is awaiting negotions among the leaders. It is expected that Aldo Rebelo's project that alters the Forest Code (PL 1876/99) will be voted on today. But there remains a dispute in the government over an amendment proposed by the Brazilian Democratic Movement Party (PMDB). The Presidential Palace does not want the Party to submit amendment 164 which hands states the power to establish the activities which can justify the regularization of permanent preservation areas (APPs) that have already been subject to deforestation.

 Translated by Eric H.