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Tweet #SOSBrazil

Posted on 06 March 2012    
WWF and Avaaz present more than 2 million petition signatures while a figure of President Dilma Rousseff is shown to veto the Forest Code bill.
© WWF-Brasil / Kenzo Ferreira
Important updates:
The Veto Dilma petition was an outstanding success! In a truly global effort, we surpassed 2 million signatures, and are still counting. Today we expect President Dilma Rousseff to announce her decision on the Forest Code.


The fight continues! As President Dilma Rousseff contemplates whether to veto all or part of the Forest Code, or allow it to become law, the world calls on her to keep her promises. President Dilma has until 25 May to make her decision. Today, the WWF global network is doing an all-out push on Twitter with and . We are also aiming for 2 million signatures on the Veto Dilma petition. Join us! Even if you have taken action to save Brazil's forests and protect our global climate already, every action counts.  


Bad news last week: the Brazilian Congress passed the revised Forest Code bill, despite strong opposition from within Brazil and around the world. Now it's in President Dilma Rousseff's hands, and we need to ask her to keep her campaign promises and veto this bill!

After intense discussions late into the night yesterday, there still hasn't been a vote on the proposed Forest Code bill. WWF colleagues in Brazil hope this is good news: President Dilma's government is standing firm against the worst elements of the bill. But the vote could take place today. Global opposition to the bill is more important than ever! #SOSBrazil

24/04/12 Today could be the day!
Voting on controversial changes to Brazil’s forest law may be resumed soon as pressure from the agribusiness lobby mounts. Let’s remind President Dilma Rousseff that, across the globe, we support the millions of Brazilian people who oppose the damaging changes to Brazil’s exemplary forest law. Add your voice to the movement on Facebook and Twitter - use #SOSBrazil.

17/04/12 A message to WWF Supporters:
Our campaign to save Brazilian forests has been successful so far, but it’s not over yet.

Few believed last November that Brazil’s powerful agribusiness lobby could be stopped in their attempt to overturn the country’s Forest Law. Despite the warnings of scientists and the wishes of the Brazilian people to conserve their unique natural heritage, many politicians remain determined to pass legislation that serves the interests of the rich and powerful. But they haven’t succeeded yet. 

Because you stood in solidarity with millions of Brazilians who oppose these reforms, the final vote on the Forest Law in the Brazilian Chamber of Deputies was postponed last December, and twice more in March this year. Thanks to you, the Brazilian government now realises that not only millions of hectares of forest and billions of tonnes of greenhouse emissions, but also the global reputation of Brazil is at stake.

However, there will be yet another attempt to approve this disastrous legislation in the plenary sessions of the Chamber of Deputies on 24 and 25 April. WWF, in cooperation with more than 200 Brazilian organizations, including scientists, students, trade unionists, clergy, lawyers, as well as former Brazilian environment ministers, will launch several protest actions over the next two weeks to save Brazilian forests. We will be calling on President Dilma Rousseff to halt the vote once and for all.

The politics behind this campaign are complicated. But we know we’re making a difference. The pressure from within Brazil and around the globe has made it very difficult to pass these unjustifiable reforms. We hope we can count on you to stand with us in the crucial weeks to come.

We will keep you updated and provide ways to take action soon. In the meantime, please ‘Like’ us on Facebook, sign up for email updates, follow us on Twitter and spread the word with your friends!

Want the whole story? Keep reading:

14/03/12 - No vote yesterday! Is the ongoing campaign within Brazil and around the world working? Stay tuned for updates.

12/03/2012 - On Tuesday 13 March 2012 the Brazilian parliament is due to vote on whether to relax the country’s long-standing Forest Code - the law that’s helped protect large areas of the Amazon and other forests for years. Now’s your chance to voice an opinion on this vital issue online.

Please retweet this!

07/03/2012 - Thousands of people marched to the front of the National Congress in Brasilia, Brazil. The participants asked president Dilma Roussef to veto the Forest law reform if it passes through the parliament.

Help support the movement in Brazil! Join the action via social media: tweet #SOSBrazil and share with your friends!

What will happen now?

The vote scheduled for 6 March has been postponed a week to 13 March. At that time, the House of Representatives can:
  • Approve the bill as modified and approved by the Senate;
  • Vote again on the original version the House approved the first time;
  • Approve the text as it has been suggested by the representative for Minas Gerais, Paulo Piau (PMDB), which he has not yet been presented;
"None of the versions serves Brazil’s interests. They are all extremely damaging to the country. By approving any one of the versions, the Congress will be turning its back on society", declared WWF-Brasil CEO Maria Cecília de Brito.

WWF-Brasil is part of the Comitê Brasil in Defence of the Forests and Sustainable Development, a union of more then 180 Brazilian civil society organizations that is calling for a complete veto of the proposed bill. 

"We believe a veto to be the only admissible political attitude open to President Dilma Rousseff that will be consistent with her election campaign promises when she publically and formally committed herself to vetoing any legislation that fostered amnesties or stimulated more deforestation," the committee writes in a public letter.

Why is the reform to the law so bad?

Brazil has built a well-earned reputation in forest and environmental protection. However, despite the opposition of the Brazilian population and against scientific evidence and legal advice, the Brazilian National Congress is set to approve changes to the Forest Law, which will result in extensive environmental, political and economic damage.

US$5 billion in eco fines will be "forgiven" if new forest law passes!

According to the leading Brazilian newspaper, Folha de São Paulo, 75% of all ilegall activity fines worth over a million dollars will be pardoned (read original article in Portuguese) by the legislation as it is proposed now.

The new law will also:
  • Legalize millions of hectares illegally cleared through an amnesty
  • Increase greenhouse gas emissions, which will undermine efforts to keep global warming below 2°C
  • Reduce drastically the protection of many sensitive ecosystems, such as springs, wetlands and mangroves
  • Increase the risk of flooding and landslides, and cause problems in the water supply
  • Reduce forest restoration obligations in vulnerable habitats that are important for safeguarding people, environmental services and biodiversity
  • Be nearly impossible to enforce and promote further deforestation
Our appeal to Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff
  1. We strongly urge President Dilma Rousseff to intervene in the process of revising the Forest Law, to allow time for proper scientific evaluation of its potential impacts, and a deeper discussion among Brazilian people.
  2. If the revision is rushed through National Congress, we urge President Dilma Rousseff to veto any text that would contravene her promise “to prevent any changes in law that would allow illegal deforestation or give amnesty to environmental criminals” who violated the law prior to 2008. Please also veto any text that would allow rural properties up to 440 hectares to have the same Legal Reserve benefits as small family producers; and any text that would permit states and municipalities to create exceptions to the federal regulatory framework.

Some available alternatives
  • Land use-planning for up to 61 million hectares of underproductive pastures, which are readily available for cultivation without additional deforestation
  • Increase the efficiency of the livestock sector
  • Introduction of a strategy for sustainable production in the farming and livestock sectors
  • Implementation and increase of national and international mechanisms for compensation for environmental services

Why will your voice be heard?

On the eve of the Rio +20 summit in June 2012, the Brazilian government risks an enormous loss of international reputation in the field of biodiversity and climate protection as it committed itself to:
  • Reduce deforestation by 80% in the Amazon
  • And by 40% in the Cerrado
  • Consequently lowering the growth of greenhouse gas emissions by up to 39% by 2020.
Both commitments are linked and will be impossible to meet if the proposed bill becomes law.

For the conservation of Brazil's forests, #sosbrazil
WWF and Avaaz present more than 2 million petition signatures while a figure of President Dilma Rousseff is shown to veto the Forest Code bill.
© WWF-Brasil / Kenzo Ferreira Enlarge
Demonstration against Forest law reform
Demonstration against Forest Code reform in Brazil.
© WWF-Brasil / Eduardo Aigner Enlarge
Aerial view of the Varzea flooded forest during the rainy season between the Amazon river and the Rio Negro in Amazonas, Brazil.
© Michel Roggo / WWF-Cano Enlarge
Brazil forest
© wwf Enlarge

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