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Dilma Silent as World Calls for Full Veto of Forest Code Reform

May 11, 2012

WWF, Greenpeace and Avaaz will today begin a mass mobilization of their 22 million supporters to call on Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff to veto the Forest Code bill passed by the House of Deputies.

Washington, DC (PRWEB) May 11, 2012

Three of the world´s leading conservation and advocacy organizations will today begin a mass mobilization of their 22 million supporters to call on Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff to veto the Forest Code bill passed by the House of Deputies.

WWF, Greenpeace and Avaaz say the proposed changes to the Forest Code would threaten recent successes in reducing forest loss and compromise efforts to tackle corruption in the Amazon region.

Already more than 1.3 million people from around the world have signed Avaaz’s petition calling on President Rousseff to veto the proposed Forest Code; this number is expected to rise dramatically in the next few days. Likewise, hundreds of thousands of WWF and Greenpeace supporters have echoed the call on social media channels such Twitter, using #SOSBrazil and #VetaTudoDilma, and by posting messages directly to the Facebook page of the president´s political party, Partido dos Trabalhadores.

President Rousseff has not given public reaction nor indicated whether she intends to fight the measure since it was passed on 25 April. The groups say that only a full veto will safeguard Brazil´s forests and the global climate. President Rousseff received the bill this week and has until 25 May to veto all or part of the bill, or to allow it to become law.

“Over the past decade, Brazil has achieved stunning progress in reducing deforestation in the Amazon. We recognize that President Rousseff is under massive political pressure from those who would burn the forest for short-term gain, but we urge her to stand firm for the protection of the forest resources that are so vital to the future of all Brazilians, and the world,” said Jim Leape, WWF International Director General.

Brazil´s Institute for Applied Economic Research (IPEA) has estimated that the new legislation could lead to the loss of up to 76.5 million hectares (190 million acres) of forest, which translates to 28 billion tonnes of added CO2 in the atmosphere. This would make it impossible for Brazil to reach its carbon reduction targets.

“Thousands of people from all over the world are sounding the alarm and calling Brazilian embassies to urge President Rousseff to save the Amazon. Nearly 80 per cent of Brazilians want this catastrophic bill scrapped, and so far over a million people across the world support them. President Rousseff has a choice — sign the Amazon´s death sentence or protect the planet´s lungs and emerge a public hero,” said Ricken Patel, Avaaz Executive Director.

“President Dilma Rousseff stands at a defining moment for her presidency. The choice is clear. She can ignore the Brazilian people and side with ‘destruction as usual’ as enshrined in the new Forest Code or exercise her veto and support the call for a new Zero Deforestation Law. We urge her to take the visionary path of a leader who understands that with power comes responsibility,” said Kumi Naidoo, Greenpeace International Executive Director.

The groups further criticize the bill´s amnesty provisions for past illegal forest clearance. The proposed amnesties would not only free environmental criminals from prosecution, but also forfeit an estimated US$4.8 billion in fines.

The groups are urging President Rousseff to listen to her own constituents — 94 per cent of whom say they are concerned about the environment, according to a recent survey conducted for the National Industry Confederation — and to the global movement that is calling for a veto.

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Note to Editors: the petition can be found here:

http://www.avaaz.org/en/veto_dilma_global/?wwf


ABOUT WORLD WILDLIFE FUND

WWF is the world´s leading conservation organization, working in 100 countries for half a century. With the support of almost 5 million members worldwide, WWF is dedicated to delivering science-based solutions to preserve the diversity and abundance of life on Earth, halt the degradation of the environment and combat climate change. Visit http://www.worldwildlife.org to learn more.

FOR MORE INFORMATION

Brendan Rohr, 202-495-4621, Brendan.Rohr(at)wwfus(dot)org

For the original version on PRWeb visit: http://www.prweb.com/releases/prweb2012/5/prweb9497387.htm


Source: prweb



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