Stop Rising Deforestation in the Amazon

Target: Blairo Maggi, Brazilian Minister of Agriculture

Goal: Stop agricultural policies supporting deforestation of the Amazon rainforest.

The push to end deforestation of the Amazon in the late 2000s has become something of a success story, as rates of deforestation dropped precipitously from 2004 to 2012. However, since then it has been on the rise, largely due to the complacency of the government and economic forces which encourage farmers small and large to chop down one of the world’s most unique ecosystems. As deforestation worsens, it is crucial for the government to step in and ensure the Amazon is protected at all costs, but instead it seems that lawmakers are siding more often with the agricultural industry, if not joining them.

Much of the progress made after 2004, during which nearly 11,000 square miles of land was lost to clear cutting, was due to economic factors that discouraged investments in farming, as the value of the Brazilian real fell and prices for soy and beef declined. In 2008, Brazil’s Central Bank then refused to issue loans to those with pending fines for illegal deforestation, causing medium- and large-scale farming operations to slow. But since then, the Brazilian government has breathed a sigh of relief as deforestation dropped, and met the news by reducing restrictions on deforestation and giving amnesty to rural landowners who illegally cleared their land.

Political forces in Brazil have a responsibility to protect the Amazon, which provides great economic value to the nation’s economy in the form of natural resources and tourism, but instead they have sided with rural powers hoping to accelerate the transformation of forest into farms. Unfortunately, this includes the Minister of Agriculture, a billionaire who owns one of the largest soy producing companies in the country. Sign this petition to tell Minister Maggi that his policies are under close watch by Brazilians and those around the world, who will work to ensure he protects the Amazon from agribusiness pressures to destroy it.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Minister Maggi,

Over the past decade, the push to end deforestation of the Amazon has become a story of success, with deforestation declining greatly between 2004 and 2012. However, much of this progress was the result of market forces which saw demand for Brazilian agricultural exports like soy and beef drop, and as demand for these products has risen in recent years, so too has deforestation. For these reasons, it is imperative that the government steps in and ensures that the Amazon is protected from agribusinesses which seek to strip the rainforest for profit.

Your position as the Minister of Agriculture places you in an incredible position to reverse deforestation in the region, and I urge you to do so to preserve the healthy environmental, economic, and social functioning of both the Brazilian and global economies. The Amazon provides natural resources and tourism for the regional economy, and helps to fight back against global climate change by storing carbon, while providing a home to one of the most unique, diverse, and beautiful communities of species on the planet. But by providing low-interest loans to farmers, exempting export taxes on agricultural products, and providing outreach services to expand soy and cattle farming, agricultural policies are encouraging the conversion of rainforest into farmland. With so much at stake, I urge you to rescind these policies and fight to conserve the Amazon, using your capacity to make farmers a part of the solution, not perpetrators of the problem.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Matt Zimmerman

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5 Comments

  1. Gen Lovyet Agustsson says:

    no more destruction!

  2. THE BRAZILIAN GOVERNMENT NEEDS TO END THE FOREST DESTRUCTION FOR GOOD NOW. BAN ALL PALM OIL HERE NOW.

  3. The Amazon holds the “lungs” of the earth!!! Please stop the deforestation!!

  4. The Minister of Agriculture “owns one of the largest soy-producing companies in the country”. Isn’t that a huge conflict of interest??
    Brazil needs someone who will look out for the COUNTRY’S interests – NOT his own, in the position of Minister of Agriculture.

  5. Lisa Zarafonetis Lisa Zarafonetis says:

    Signed & Shared❗️?

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