SAO PAULO – Brazil's Environment Ministry is proposing to open up 860,000 acres of a protected reserve in the Amazon to logging, mining and agricultural use.
The bill reducing the size of the National Forest of Jamanxim was sent to Congress Thursday. It comes after President Michel Temer vetoed legislation that would have reduced protections on a larger parcel of land following pressure from environmental groups and supermodel Gisele Bundchen.
Activists worry that fewer protections will lead to increased deforestation when Brazilian rain forests are already being cut at the fastest rate in nearly a decade.
The Environment Ministry said Friday that the bill includes measures to prevent deforestation and will reduce land conflicts and promote jobs. Land conflicts are rising, partially because of incursions by loggers and farmers into protected areas.