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#SOSBrazil: help block a disastrous vote on forest law

2 March 2012

Update: After a day of hectic activity at Brazil's parliament yesterday, the final vote on changes to the forest law has been postponed until next Tuesday, 13 March. But the threat to the rainforest isn’t over yet! Please keep up the protest on twitter and facebook.

Huge demonstrations are happening in Brazil this week against proposed changes to the country’s forest law - you can join people from around the world in an urgent online protest too. Watch this short video...

Please retweet or share our messages, or add your own. Feel free to use your own words, but they could be along the lines of the following (or see others to the right):

‘Amazon SOS: rainforests at risk from change to Forest Law. RT so Brazil’s parliament gets message #SOSBrazil http://bit.ly/sosbrazil’

What we're hoping to achieve
The proposed changes to Brazil's forest law (or Forest Code) could destroy up to 76 million hectares of forest - that's an area the size of Chile, or bigger than Germany, Italy and Austria combined. The changes are opposed by most Brazilians, but their parliament has been mostly in favour. Our best hope at this stage is to block the final vote and delay a decision - or get President Dilma Rousseff to veto it.

Blocking the vote would likely postpone proceedings until 2013, as President Dilma Rousseff attempts to save her environmental reputation in time for June’s UN Conference on Sustainable Development (the Rio+20 Earth Summit), which she is hosting in Rio de Janeiro.

This would allow time for proper scientific evaluation of the potential impacts of the proposals, and a deeper discussion among people and politicians.

There’s so much scientific evidence and public opinion stacking up against the changes - and the proposals are so full of technical and legislative errors - that it’s clear the reforms should not to be voted on at this stage.

If passed, there’s a serious danger that vast areas in Brazil’s forests, wetlands, mangroves and other important habitats would be left completely unprotected and subject to being legally cleared.

Brazil has built a well-earned reputation for tackling deforestation and protecting the environment and the climate. It’s committed itself to reducing deforestation by 80% in the Amazon and by 40% in Cerrado (tropical savannah) and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by up to 39% by 2020. Those commitments will be impossible to meet if the proposed change to the Forest Code becomes law.

Let's make sure Brazil lives up to its reputation.

You can…

Join the worldwide action now - use Twitter (#SOSBrazil) or spread the word on Facebook to increase the pressure on Brazil’s parliament to postpone the Forest Code vote.

Get more details on the action to block the Forest Code vote

Support our work in the Amazon

Find out more about the Forest Code and proposed changes to the law

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Aerial view of the Peruvian Amazon