Last week Brazil’s Supreme Court rejected a legal challenge by environmentalists, upholding the constitutionality of most, though not all, of Brazil’s New Forest Code – legislation crafted in 2012 by the powerful bancada ruralista agribusiness lobby in Congress.
The 2012 code is weaker than the old Forest Code, which was approved in 1965, but never well enforced.
Many environmentalists have expressed concern that the high court ruling endorses legislation that prioritizes the economic importance of industrial agriculture over basic environmental protections.
Conservationists also say that the decision rewards those who have illegally infringed on environmental laws at a time when pressures on forests are growing more intense, especially in the Amazon. This story includes a chart that provides a detailed analysis of the environmental pros and cons of the Supreme Court decision.
As carried in m