With the Brazilian elections rapidly approaching, (October 3rd, mark your calendars!), the legislative proposal to relax the current Brazilian Forest code (Codigo Floresteal) has proved to be a key issue in electoral debates. Certian NGOs and environmental institutions have joined forces to set up the website SOS Florestas in order to call for a debate about these proposed forestry code reforms. Candidates (Dilma Rousseff, José Serra, Marina Silva, and Plinio Soares de Arruda Sampaio) have been asked to respond to 7 questions concerning Brazilian environmental policy, which try to determine their relative stances on forest conservation, development, and how they see the balance between the two. But what exactly is this “new forestry code”? And how has it come into the spotlight in the months preceding this weekend’s elections?
On July 6th a special congressional commission in Brazil, approved a proposal which essentially “relaxes” the Brazilian Forest Code. This not only threw a spotlight on Brazil’s policies regarding agriculture and development, particularly in the Amazon Forest, but stirred up tension between those who strongly support agricultural expansion, and those who favor forest conservation. Although it may be an oversimplification, the debate boiled down to the question : Do we relax the Forest Code to allow for even more land to be available for farming, or do we continue using the existing Forest Code?
But before you can even begin to answer this question, I think a little background is necessary: What exactly is this Forest Code? And why is it under so much debate?
Stay tuned for tomorrow’s post, and your questions will be answered!