Thursday, May 31, 2012

Victoria's Green Matters - 31st May 2012

Deal With IT's Secretary Victoria Nicholls writes a regular column in the East Kent Mercury. It seems a while since we heard much about the Brazilian rain forest. This is because over recent time there has been much improvement in the environmental situation of this area of the world that provides us with one fifth of the oxygen that we need to survive.

The present government in Brazil has a good record on environmental protection and has greatly reduced deforestation by 78% since 2004. President Rousseff came to office promising to maintain her predecessor's record on environmental protection but the Brazilian congress has just passed a forest code that may jeopardise the Amazonian rain forest and cause the President to go back on her word.

If she decides to pass the bill it would give farmers and loggers free access to chop down 190 million acres of forest. How can this be allowed to happen? Simple - big business, both farmers and loggers, have the power to influence government by telling them that the present situation is stopping development in Brazil. This is plainly untrue. Development in Brazil has been brought about by ever more efficient farming methods and rising world food prices. More efficiency still will free up more land for growing crops without deforestation.

Brazil will host Rio+20 next month - this will bring together the world's leaders to discuss the fate of the planet so a veto of congress's bill will show leadership by the president and undermine big business's influence over our future.

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