Forestry code farce: falling foul of factions

Brazil’s attempts to modernize its forestry code with protection for river banks and set-aside areas are dying in the quicksand of Brasilia’s messy compromise politics. Pressure from the powerful ruralistas, those supporting the expansion of Brazil’s agribusiness, have already watered down the code so far that it was effectively meaningless. The latest political ruse is bailing out farmers who commit environmental crimes.

Sensing an opportunity to wring out more concessions from the government, the ruralistas are holding up passage of World Cup legislation (covering vital questions such as ‘can alcohol be sold at the stadia?’ and ‘what kind of discounts can we offer students and pensioners?’). This delaying tactic is acutely embarrassing to Dilma Rousseff as Brazil is already involved in an ugly spat with FIFA over its monumentally slow progress in building out infrastructure, especially transport, associated with the games and been on the end of a tongue-lashing from Jerome Valcker, who told Brazil that it needed ‘a kick up the backside’.

The government now looks set to cut a favourable deal to the ruralistas to win support for the Cup laws by extending suspension of laws that impose sanctions and penalties for environmental crimes. That would further sacrifice years of work on the already emasculated code. Does Brazil really give much of a monkey’s about its forests?

About admin

I've been researching and writing on Brazilian financial markets, industry and economy since 2006 for a wide range of specialist media, consultancies and investors. Before that I spent over 10 years in London and New York writing for and editing magazines and journals dedicated to finance, investment and economics in developing markets, mostly for the Euromoney Institutional Investor group and Thomson Financial. Areas of coverage Below are samples of areas that I cover and some of the common themes that I investigate. Capital markets BM&FBovespa markets *capital raising trends: via equities (IPOs and secondary issuance), debt and loans *the asset management industry: legislation and coverage of the key hedge, pension and investment funds * corporate governance: how the regulator is seeking to strengthen best practice and limitations * debt markets: the nascent corporate markets, attempts to boost liquidity and new insturments. * private equity market: why this market has been so successful, who’s involved. *electronic, high frequency trading and alternative trading platforms: what does the future hold? Banking *credit: the growth of consumer and business credit and competition between banks and models *Public versus private: the role and market share of public and private sector banks and the politicization of the industry * internationalization: which Brazilian banks are expanding overseas and where * investment banking: the growth of the domestic market and who’s winning which mandates *regional banks and development banks: what role they play in the industry and how they compete Mining *licensing: the complex process of obtaining environmental, water, land and operating licenses at a state and federal level. * capacity: the feasibility and sustainability of capacity increases * financing: how miners are raising finance in Brazil and abroad *competition: the interplay Vale, MMX and junior miners *logistics: rail, road and port connections Oil and gas: the fund raising issues related to the massive of pre-salt (link) Multilatinas: Who are they and how and where they are expanding Meatpacking: Are debt burdens sustainable, what are the different business models for areas such as branding and distrbution Agriculture: How are farms consolidating, what are environmental risks, how can foreign investors be involved. IT and software: Can Brazil take on India and build a viable long-term IT industry? For more information on clients and work, please see the media and consultancy sections.
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