Brazil’s Congress Hands Rousseff a Second Forest Bill Defeat
The president’s decree signed May 25 required that cleared areas bordering rivers wider than 10 meters be replanted out to 20 meters on each bank. Lawmakers reduced that distance to 15 meters. On larger tracts, the protection was lowered from 30 meters to 20 meters. Lawmakers have also authorized the use of fruit trees for replanting.
“The president has repeatedly showed that the government is only committed to the original version of the decree,” Senator Eduardo Braga, leader of the government coalition in the Senate, said. “The possibility of another veto is real,” he told reporters in Brasilia.
Rousseff had previously vetoed 12 items from a bill approved by Congress in April to replace the country’s 1965 forest legislation. The rejected articles reduced the area that farmers were required to preserve. Instead of the vetoed rules, Rousseff signed a decree that withdraws fines charged for illegal deforestation as long as farmers agree to replant a portion of the area.
To contact the reporter on this story: Maria Luiza Rabello in Brasilia Newsroom at firstname.lastname@example.org