Saturday, May 12, 2012

Sign here to save the Rainforest

If you like online petitions (which I don't really) here's one that may be worth a look.  A bill has passed the Brazilian parliament relaxing the law on illegal logging. The petition calls on Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff to save Brazil's precious forests by exercising her veto.

Brazilian protesters demand that president Dilma Rousseff veto a forest code approved
last month by the congress.    Photo: Yasuyoshi Chiba/AFP/Getty Images
Last month President Dilma Rousseff's party lost a vote on the law, which critics fear will unleash a wave of deforestation, by 274 votes to 184.

The result confirms the Brazilian parliament's bias for the interests of large landowners, according to Deutsche Welle, Germany's international broadcaster. It also reveals a tension within the current administration. The majority of members of the largest coalition partner, the Brazilian Democratic Movement Party (PMBD), voted for the law.  President Rousseff's Workers' Party (PT) voted almost unanimously against it.

Which is where the petition comes in.  It seems the president is both entitled to veto and politically disposed to do so, and therefore international encouragement through actions such as online petitions might just be the deciding factor. I suppose it's worth a shot anyway.

An extra factor is Rousseff's presumed desire to avoid embarrassment when she hosts the UN's Rio +20 Earth summit next month. More than 125 heads of state as well as 45,000 delegates are expected to attend the world's largest environment conference in a generation, pledging to protect forests and develop the "green economy".

The petition also urges the president “to prevent further murders of environmental activists and workers by increasing law enforcement against illegal loggers and ramping up protection for people at risk from violence or death. The world needs Brazil to be an international leader on the environment. Your strong action now will safeguard the planet for future generations.”
Logged Brazilian rainforest
I can't remember whether I've come across Avaaz before. It may be a site worth keeping an eye on.

Here's the story in The Guardian

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