Can You Hear the Drums, Fernando?
A controversial bill due to be debated in the Brazilian Congress next week would cut the legally protected portion of the nation’s Amazon region from 80 percent to 50 percent. Brazilian President Fernando Henrique Cardoso promised yesterday to fight the measure. Enviros warn that the bill would dramatically increase destruction of the Amazon rainforest, the world’s largest tropical forest and home to a significant proportion of the world’s plant and animal species. In more encouraging Amazon news, the World Wildlife Fund, the Global Environment Facility, and the Brazilian government last week announced a program under which at least 10 percent of the Brazilian Amazon will be set aside over the next 10 years to permanently protect biodiversity.