Brazil Congress reduces protection in Amazon rainforest

AP News
Posted: May 17, 2017 1:48 PM

SAO PAULO (AP) — Brazil's lower house of Congress has approved a measure significantly reducing the size of a fully protected national park in the Amazon rain forest and opening a big chunk of land for agriculture and other activities.

The Chamber of Deputies approved the move Tuesday night.

Lawmakers agreed to convert 1.2 million acres of the 3.2 million-acre Jamanxim National Park in Para state into what is called an Environmental Protection Area.

That would let the land be used for the extraction of lumber, agriculture and mining — activities not allowed in a fully protected national park.

Approval of the move is seen as a victory of Congress' rural lobby representing agribusiness. It must still get the nod from the Senate and be ratified by President Michel Temer.