It wasn’t for lack of warning. Since last year, thanks to the leak of the video from an anthological meeting in Brasilia, we knew that a huge, gigantic herd of cattle was ready to investigate the remains of the environmental protection systems in Brazil.
On Thursday (13th), with the approval of a project on cash in the Chamber of Deputies, the volume that this cattle evokes from the depths of Hades sounded louder than ever. If it comes down to the parliamentarians who support Jair Bolsonaro’s zombie government today, the image of the future will be the foot of an ox stomping forever on Brazilian biodiversity.
Overkill? Well, the proposal has yet to go through the Senate (and presidential scrutiny, but then they are very popular). In the current version, however, the basic text of the draft law is already sufficient to convert a large part of the environmental permits in the country into a dead letter.
In contrast to the 300 recommendations of Bolsonarism in Congress, the licensing system is not “just bureaucracy”. It is, in fact, the main tool that allows public managers to organize the occupation of Brazilian territory, taking into account the need to minimize environmental damage.
In other words, licensing is not a simple “don’t plant”, “raise no livestock”, “don’t open roads”, but “better open that road a few miles west where there are no endangered species”. ;; “We’re going to build this transmission line, but we’re going to offset the impact by creating a reserve elsewhere.”
What does the bill that went through the gate of the chamber do? This eliminates the need for various forms of agriculture and livestock where these are “small”.
This is the first big slide (obviously functional): the easiest thing in the world is breaking CNPJs off rural lots. So what appears to be a collection of small properties that don’t require an environmental permit is actually a huge conglomerate that the owner can fill with oxen at will.
If the proposed bill passes through the Senate, it will also end licensing in indigenous or quilombola areas that have not yet been delimited or titled. The problem here is that a significant portion of the land occupied by these traditional peoples has not yet gone through this process of inauguration, which is a full plate of abuse. And it has already been proven that such areas are among the best preserved in Brazil and in the world.
Of course, the usual suspects will say that the critics don’t want cheap food and plump steak to arrive at the Brazilian table. Cascata, kind reader: The cheap steak shouldn’t last longer than a generation when it comes.
This is because if the ranchers’ plans are put into practice we will in the short term trade abundance (and their pockets of dollars, of course) for the high risk of impoverished land, lack of water and madness, lost climate and biodiversity forever – all things that depend on the standing forest. We’re talking about people who are quite ready to kill the goose that laid the golden eggs as long as it takes a few decades for it to start up. They are not compatriots, but locusts.
PS “Under the Pata do Boi: Como Amazônia Vira Pasto” is also the title of a documentary film directed by Marcio Isensee and Sá. Competent and terrifying, the medium-length movie can be found on multiple digital platforms.
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