New Legislation Could Impact Amazon Forest

If Brazilian legislators approve the Provisional Measure MP 758/16 of December 2016 that changes the use limitations for protected areas such as the Jamanxim National Park and the Tapajós Environmental Protection Area. An area of around 1 million hectares could be at risk according to Braziian newspaper Valor Economico, reports from Valor. 

MP 758/16 aims to re-designate 862,000 hectares of forest in the Jamanxim National Park to allow railroad expansion to transport of soybeans from Mato Grosso to other states. Valor Economico reports that other proposed amendments could weaken protection of the Amazon; for example parts of the Jamanxim National Park could be redesignated as environmental protection areas (APAs). APAs are the most flexible type of conservation units in Brazil since they permit agriculture and mining in the areas. An amendment that re-designates around 170,000 hectares of the National Forest of Itaituba into an APA was recently approved.

Spokespersons from the Chico Mendes Institute for Biodiversity Conservation said they foresee an increase in deforestation in the Amazon If these decisions are implemented.

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