Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff today offered neither approval nor a full veto of the Forest Code bill approved by the Chambers of Deputies.
Despite the massive national and international social mobilization in favour of a full veto, the president opted to reject 12 of 84 articles in the bill. This attempt to parse elements of an already complicated piece of legislation will make the new Forest Code extraordinarily difficult to implement.
The president’s decision comes just weeks before Brazil hosts the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, Rio+20. Today’s actions send a murky message about Brazil’s commitment to environmental protection.
“For the last decade, Brazil has been on a path of economic and environmental progress. President Rousseff’s statement today creates an uncertain future for Brazilian forests, considering the Congress could still cut forest protections even further,” said Jim Leape, WWF International Director General.
The revised legislation was backed by powerful agribusiness interests, but loudly condemned by Brazilian society and social and environmental organizations worldwide. President Rousseff’s unfortunate decision will make it difficult for her to speak credibly about sustainable development when heads of state gather in Rio next month.