No to complacency on forests. Greenpeace calls for Federal government responsibility

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Marcio Astrini, coordinator of Greenpeace Amazon, says that the latest official numbers for deforestation in Brazil  - which show a disheartening 28% increase  - point to a chronic lack of government oversight and commitment to tackle the problem. Moreover, forest degradation - where trees are removed selectively preserving the appearance of the forest - is increasing at a far faster rate and threatens diversity.

Mechanisms in Brazil to regulate forestry do not work and illegal documentation has flourished, says Astrini. "The situation has improved. But it's gone from truly awful to just bad. That's not much progress," he says. The government now seems to believe that 5,000-6,000km2 of deforestation per year is acceptable, he says.

Moreover, deforestation continues to take place against a backdrop of slave labour and land conflicts with indigenous peoples. Close ties to agro-industry have already persuaded the government to water down legislation and emasculate the Federal environmental agency IBAMA, he notes. The government devolved key powers to individual states in 2007. But Brazilian states are poorly funded and ill-equipped to monitor and punish infractions and politics at a local level in Brazil are rife with corruption. The Amazon state of Pará (roughly twice the size of France) has just 20 forest rangers, he says. Power must be returned to the centre, he believes.

"The Federal government needs to admit to the scale of the problem. And it needs to do this soon. One day the wood will run out".


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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