Rio + 20 Earth Summit

Rio + 20 Earth Summit

Last week’s Rio + 20 Earth Summit saw Brazil play host to the world’s leaders to set the agenda on key issues around climate change policy. Global environmental organisations see the summit as a critical last chance to persuade the Brazilian government to strengthen the “forest code”, which is a legal framework that they say allows illegal loggers amnesty from prosecution.

“We will show at Rio+20 that, independent of anything, we have built one of the biggest, low-cost and high-quality agricultural industries on the planet and still managed to preserve 61 per cent of our forest, a thing that no other country in the world can claim,” said Senator Katia Abreu, president of the Confederation of Agriculture and Livestock of Brazil.

The key to the forest code debate is that in Brazil responsibility for conservation falls largely on private landowners rather than the state.

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