Brazilians Brazen About Razin' and Grazin'
Crowding into a special congressional committee hearing, enviros in Brazil last night temporarily fought off last-minute legislation that would have made deep cutbacks in protections of the Amazon rainforest. The cutbacks favored by rich landowners, logging companies, and the country’s agriculture minister would reduce the amount of the rainforest currently under protection from 80 percent to 50 percent, and the amount of protected rainforest outside of the Amazon from 50 percent to 20 percent. The changes would make way for cattle-grazing pastures and eucalyptus and pine plantations. A vote has now been postponed until next year, but Analuce Freitas of the World Wildlife Fund in Brazil says the battle is still an uphill one: “The problem is nobody in Brazil cares about the rainforests.”