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News > Brazil

Brazil: Lower House Commits to Environmental Protection

  • A burned area in the Amazon rainforest, Brazil, 2020.

    A burned area in the Amazon rainforest, Brazil, 2020. | Photo: Twitter/ @amazonwatch

Published 22 December 2020

The lawmakers approved rules that will facilitate the implementation of initiatives based on monetary compensation for the protection of environmental services.

Brazil's Lower Chamber on Monday approved a bill to establish compensations to those rural workers, Indigenous people, and traditional communities which preserve natural environments.


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The bill seeks to promote projects for the "maintenance, recovery or improvement" of forest areas, water supplies, and conservation corridors. Besides financial payments, the initiative will issue certificates for sustainability projects in environmentally protected areas.

Lawmaker Arnaldo Jardim from the Cidadania party noted that the compensation system opens the way for good practices to be recognized and remunerated and to find solutions to "important environmental issues".

"The decision to protect these ecosystems is, above all, an ethical choice," he said.

The bill must be now analyzed by President Jair Bolsonaro who has cut funds destined to environmental organizations and has pushed forward a policy to exploit the Amazon.

The bill comes at a time when deforestation in Brazil reached its highest level in recent decades. According to the National Institute of Space Research (INPE), deforestation in the Amazon forest increased by 9.5 percent between August 2019 and July 2020 as compared to the previous period.

The state of Para, in the heart of the Amazon, has accounted for 46.8 percent of the entire area destroyed by fires, followed by Mato Grosso (15.9 percent) and Amazonas (13.7 percent).

The increasing devastation of the Amazon and other Brazilian ecosystems has led some European countries to threaten not to ratify the free trade agreement signed between the European Union (EU) and Mercosur last year.

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