Brazil is taking firm measures to protect its magnificent rainforests and would effectively nationalize them under a draft bill being considered by the country’s MPs.
The proposed legislation would recognize Brazil's sovereignty over the Amazon’s natural resources and set up a national Amazonian policy council responsible for enshrining environmental protection into the use of the forests. The new council would regulate all economic activities in the rainforest.
Companies wanting to operate in the area would require approval from the new state entity in return for royalties on the proceeds of their activities.
The draft of the legislation was created by Sergio Zveiter, a Social Democratic MP in Rio de Janeiro. The bill will go before a special commission at the end of March, upon which it could be voted on by the legislature.
Mr Zveiter called the on-going destruction of the Brazilian rainforest “unacceptable” and called for strengthen the Brazilian government's authority over the pristine habitat.
The move also counters suggestions by the international community that the Amazon belongs to the world, a stance which implies Brazil is incapable of effectively managing such a rich resource.
“International leaders have repeatedly insisted that the Amazon is not a national territory, it’s a transnational territory. [This] puts in doubt Brazilian sovereignty over the territory,” Zveiter argued.
The bill succinctly states: “The Federal Government owns all of the natural resources of the Amazon, therein including mines, the forest and watersheds.”
The move highlights how progressive the country has become. In recent months it has passed an Internet Bill of Rights in an effort to prevent the use of the internet to oppress and spy on its citizens. The rainforest protection bill parallels this progressive stance, which the country taking a very future-centric approach to governance.