Greenpeace Activist Paulo Adario to Receive UN Award Today

B. McPherson
The following video shows a soybean harvest in progress. The farm is said to be eight years old and encompasses 8 000 ha of soybean plantings.



The United Nations in New York will honour Greenpeace activist Paulo Adario for his work in defending the Amazon Rain Forest. Adario has worked with Greenpeace since the 1990s in the Amazonas area uncovering illegal logging of the rain forest. Working with local tribespeople and the government he has helped protect about 1.6 million hectares from logging.

Among his innovations was his original concept of maintaining buffer zones between industrial development and the forest. His work also resulted in the banning of trade in mahogany in 2003.

"Following a campaign on illegal logging, which led to a moratorium in 2003 on the international trade in Mahogany, the impacts of Paulo’s work attracted death threats from forest criminals across the Amazon." Greenpeace

The gains in protection to the Brazilian rain forest are never permanent. The conservation group is speaking out about the proposed new Forest Code that is before the Brazilian government for consideration. The new code would replace an outdated and unworkable code formulated in the 1960s.

Opinions are sharply divided as to whether this new code will protect the rain forest or lead to further degradation and expansion of agribusinesses. Those that stand to gain from the booming soybean industry maintain that the new forest guidelines are very restrictive. Conservationists on the other hand point to the sections in the revised legislation that allow for amnesties for illegal deforestation and cheating that is currently going on in order to expand agribusiness operations.

"According to Mato Grosso-based NGO Instituto Centro de Vida (ICV), the perspective
for approval of new environmental legislation has triggered a deforestation spree in the
state. In April, when the Chamber of Deputies still debated the project, Imazon’s SAD
already showed an upward trend of 22% in deforestation and 225% in forest
degradation between August 2010 and March 2011" ReporterBrasil 

The areas illegally cleared are huge, amounting to over 50 000 hectares(123 553+ acres). Law enforcement in these areas is often spotty and ineffectual. 

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