Brazil’s president has unveiled plans to protect a large area of the Amazon rainforest, after weeks of mutterings that the country has insufficient protections in place. The proposal by President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva would create three protected reserves for a total area the size of Vermont; the plan still has to be approved by Brazil’s Congress. Amazon deforestation is on the rise, and while welcoming Silva’s proposal, critics are still wary of the president’s view that “environmental protection and development [of the Amazon] are not incompatible.”