Brazil’s new government may be less likely to protect the Amazon, critics say - The Washington Post
With Brazil’s economy in its worst slump since the 1930s, new leader Michel Temer took power this month promising a more business-friendly agenda to spur growth. Temer named a conservative-leaning cabinet whose members include figures with close ties to powerful landowners and agribusiness companies.
Temer takes control of South America’s largest nation — and the world’s biggest rain forest — at a time when Brazilian lawmakers are considering a major overhaul of environmental laws. This includes a controversial constitutional amendment known as PEC 65 that would reduce licensing requirements for development projects and limit judicial oversight of their impact.
nvironmentalists and advocates of indigenous rights also worry Temer will push forward with controversial hydroelectric projects in the Amazon basin, including the $10 billion Sao Luiz do Tapajo mega-dam. Plans for the project were put on hold last month by Brazil’s environmental agency, partly over concerns that it would destroy the ancestral forests of indigenous groups.