Friday, November 12, 2004

Do the right thing

BRASILIA, Brazil, November 12, 2004 (ENS) - President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva signed a decree Tuesday placing two million hectares of the Amazon rainforest under government protection in the form of extractive reserves.

By creating the Verde Para Sempre and Riozinho do Anfrisio extractive reserves in the state of Para, the President has dealt a blow to the illegal loggers and land hungry ranchers and soy growers who clear the forest that environmentalists call the lungs of the Earth.

Extractive reserves are cooperatively managed by local communities for low-impact activities such as rubber tapping, vegetable oil extraction and small-scale logging. They must include fully protected areas, safeguarded by the communities themselves.

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