Amazon: Brazil Considers Extending Permits to Enter the Jungle


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The Brazilian congress is considering a law project that establishes the need for permissions to enter the Amazon jungle. The permissions would be extended by the Defense Ministry to NGOs, foreigners and workers, and would be intended to prevent the illegal use of resources in the area.

The law project is supposed to be pondered in the Congress until July. If it's approved, those who break it and enter the jungle without legal authorization could face bills that could go from five to 100 thousand USD.
According to BBC Mundo, some scientists have warned that the measure could have a negative impact on investigation, as experts that find it hard to reach the jungle could seek other areas to develop their studies.

This source also informs that the Brazilian government is not trying to criminalize foreign visitors or those who work in the Amazon, but to separate positive from negative visits.

The Justice Minister Tarso Genro said that "the law is going to 'separate straw from wheat'," and that "this is a way to give prestige to the true NGOs giving support to those who are truthful, while protecting Brazil's sovereignty," Folha de Sao Paulo newspaper informs.

With this measure, the government is trying to combat bio-piracy, international influence on natives, and selling of lands in the Amazon.

Brazil has hardened its attempts to preserve this region, the largest jungle in the planet, after deforestation in the area grew in 2007 and continues to do in 2008. According to the National Institute for Special Investigations, 639 square kilometers (about 247 thousand square miles) of the Amazon were deforested last January.

Recently, a disposition by the Monetary Council established that banks could not lend money to illegal lodging projects.

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