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Brazil Forest Code Passes In Defeat For Dilma Rousseff

Source:  Copyright 2012, Reuters
Date:  April 27, 2012
Byline:  Maria Carolina Marcello and Peter Murphy
Original URL: Status ONLINE

Brazil's Congress passed a bill easing rules mandating the amount of forest that farmers must preserve, delivering a long-sought victory to the country's powerful agriculture lobby and a political defeat for President Dilma Rousseff.

Though the bill will require millions of hectares of already cleared land to be replanted, environmentalists expect it will make it too easy for farmers, responsible for much of the deforestation of the Amazon and other swaths of environmentally sensitive land in recent decades, to comply with regulations that stipulate how much forest they must preserve or put back.

Rousseff still has the option of vetoing the bill, one of the most controversial to pass Brazil's Congress in recent years. Several government sources told Reuters they expect her to do so because the approved text ditched a hard-bargained compromise deal the government took months to reach.

"It's absolutely clear that it's not what the government was ...

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