Evolution of deforestation pressure in the Jamanxim forest, 2006 to 2017. Martins, H., Ribeiro, J., & Souza Jr., C. 2017.  Graphic: Imazon

By Fabiano Maisonnave
23 May 2017

MANAUS (Folha De São Paulo) – Unchanged, the Senate ratified on Tuesday (23) two provisional measures that reduce the protection of 597 thousand hectares [1.48 million acres] of protected areas in the Amazon, equivalent to four municipalities of São Paulo.

Provisional measures 756 and 758, which paved the way for the legalization of grileiros and squatters, had been approved by the House last week and are now being sanctioned or vetoed by President Michel Temer.

The most affected conservation area is the Jamanxim National Forest, in the region of Novo Progresso (PA), which can lose 486 thousand hectares (37% of the total). The change provides for this area to be transformed into an Environmental Protection Area (APA), which allows livestock and mining.

The Senate has maintained the parliamentary amendment that provides for the withdrawal of 10,400 hectares of the National Park of San Joaquim (SC), located thousands of kilometers from Pará, initial scope of provisional measures.

Members of the Paraense bank, defenders of the provisional measures argue that the amendment aims to pacify the region and regularize the ownership of the land.

For environmentalists and scholars, however, the legalization of invasions will encourage more land grabbing of protected areas.

"By transforming illegally occupied areas of forests and national parks into APAs, the category of protected conservation unit that allows occupation and is the most deforested in the Amazon, the government encourages the invasion and deforestation of conservation areas throughout the country", says researcher Elis Araújo, of the NGO Imazon, based in Belém. [Translation by Google.]

Senado ratifica redução na proteção de áreas de conservação na Amazônia

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