SAO PAULO – Brazil's government has revised a decree that stripped protections from a reserve in the Amazon after environmental groups criticized the original order.
The new decree announced late Monday still lifts the reserve designation from a gold- and copper-rich area larger than the Netherlands in two northern Brazilian states.
But President Michel Temer's administration clarifies that mining will not be allowed in conservation or indigenous areas within the former reserve.
The government says the new decree will allow it to crack down on the illegal mining that was taking place in the reserve, while opening up legal mining.
The Brazilian branch of the World Wide Fund for Nature said in a statement that the new decree clarifies the need for protection, but the risk of environmental damage remains.