Lonely Planet Writer

Brazil bids to nationalise Amazon rainforest to protect it

Brazil may nationalise the country’s rainforest and Amazon area in an effort to protect one of the world’s largest remaining natural resources.

Brazil politicians are looking at 'nationalising' the Amazon in a bid to protect its resources
Brazil politicians are looking at nationalising’the Amazon in a bid to protect its resources Image by David Evers / CC BY 2.0

The country’s politicians have laid the groundwork to set up a national Amazonian policy council that would oversee economic and environmental activities in the vast region.

It would mean that if the proposals became law, companies operating in the area would have to share the proceeds with the new state entity in a similar fashion to how oil exploration operates via Petrobas, the state-controlled company.

The Brazilian NGO, Imazon, produced a report last month claiming deforestation had almost tripled in the Amazon in March compared to 2014. Their figures showed a 195% increase in the amount of forest destruction.

These revelations come on top of claims by Greenpeace that Amazon deforestation is contributing to climate change, saying it has caused current severe weather incidents in São Paulo.

Rio de Janeiro politician Sergio Zveiter has described the on-going destruction of the Brazilian rainforest as “unacceptable.”

He said that the leaders of some countries has taken issue as to ownership of the Amazon territory, which put in doubt Brazilian sovereignty in the area and his bill would address this by claiming all of its natural resources.

However Amazonian politicians say these new proposals are taking place without consultation with indigenous communities.