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Brazil to Enact Law with Dire Environmental Implications


A bill currently approved by the Lower House of the Congress of Brazil has evoked considerable criticism and opposition from both environmental activists in Brazil and the E.U.  The bill would relax requirements to license mining, farming projects and infrastructure.


A spokesperson for KLP, the largest pension fund in Norway with $80 billion in assets under management stated, "if this dangerous bill passes in the Senate, it will show that the Government is actively seeking to accelerate along its current path towards mass environmental destruction".  U.K. supermarkets are also threatening to boycott agricultural products from Brazil if the proposed legislation is approved by the Senate and enacted.


A specific project in contention includes paving a major highway extending into the Amazon.  An environmental assessment has shown that this will accelerate deforestation resulting in the clearing of an area equivalent in size to the state of Florida.


The bill is opposed by nine former Ministers of the Environment in Brazil. It is generally recognized that regulations should be upgraded to facilitate the implementation of responsible projects. Unfortunately given the present Administration and the high level of corruption inherent to politics in Brazil, environmental degradation will be accelerated to the detriment not only to the present and future generations in the nation but to the world at large.