Forest Law Reform Bill - Status in the SenateThe Brazilian National Congress (House of Representatives and Federal Senate) will be taking its mid-year recess from July 19 to 31.
The Forest Law Reform Bill has now been analysed by the three relevant Senate Standing Committees: for Constitution, Justice and Citizenship; Agriculture and Agrarian Reform; and the Environment. When Congress re-convenes in August, there will be more debates before the appointed reporters for each committee present their reports.
The analysis of the Constitution, Justice and Citizenship committee is restricted to the legal and constitutional aspects of the text. The Agriculture and Environment committees however will discuss the merit of the proposed legislation as such. There is a requirement before the Senate that the bill should also be analysed by the Standing Committee for Science, Technology, Innovation Communication and IT before it goes before the full session of the Senate to be voted.
Three hearings have been held so far this month (July) and at the first one the Brazilian Minister for the Environment, Izabella Teixeira, declared that the text of the bill as it stands is unacceptable, because the way it reads at present would mean the end of all Permanent Preservation areas. "Such areas are life itself and ensure the preservation of water supplies, soils, and protection for fauna. Without them there would be no environmental services that are so strategic for the sustainable production of Brazilian Agriculture, " she stated.
Representatives of the academic world, researchers from the Applied Economics Research Institute and renowned scientist Carlos Nobre, secretary for Research and Development Programmes and Policies at the Ministry of Science and Technology all attended the Senate hearings to express the point of view of the scientific community.