Send an email – save the Amazon

posted by Becky Ran

The Amazon is under attack once again.

Brazil’s President Lula de Silva is about to sign a package of measures to redistribute land by giving legal land title to people who have been living on and cultivating land without owning it. Unfortunately, if approved, the move will grant land title to 300,000 properties illegally established across some 600,000 square kilometres of protected Amazon forest.

Such a grant would be devastating for the Amazon rainforest – amounting to the legitimization of a huge land grab by agribusiness and illegal logging.

Brazilian NGOs, international NGOs working in Brazil as well as Senator Marina Silva, former minister of environment, are asking for the President to veto the most dangerous sections, which are:
1 – a huge increase in the size of public land that can be claimed for private use: up from previously 100-400 hectares per claim, now to 1.500 hectares.
2 – the possibility of private companies to claim land; and for “indirect occupants” to register the land, meaning it’s OK to pay someone to sit on land for the legal period, then the company is entitled to claim public lands in the Amazon;
3 – no conditions related to ecological-economic zoning of the land that is claimed, meaning that the land doesn’t have to even be suitable for agricultural use.

The legislation is an absolute contradiction of the Brazilian National Plan for reducing deforestation, which has a reduction target of 72% by 2017. It will foster land speculation and continuation of failed cattle and other unsuitable land use in the Amazon.

MOST CRUCIAL: The President has 5 days to approve or veto this legislation, which started counting from June 4th, so we have TILL TUESDAY to do something!

Please send letters, faxes and emails!! Addresses to send messages: (president´s cabinet) (Civil House Minister´s cabinet)