Policy ForumConservation

Brazilian politics threaten environmental policies

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Science  19 Aug 2016:
Vol. 353, Issue 6301, pp. 746-748
DOI: 10.1126/science.aag0254

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Summary

The tumultuous political situation in Brazil carries risks for the environment in the most biologically diverse country in the world, home to the world's largest tropical forests and rivers. Among the threats is a proposed one-sentence constitutional amendment (PEC-65) that would revoke 40 years of progress in building a licensing system to evaluate and mitigate environmental impacts of development projects (1). Under PEC-65, the mere submission of an environmental impact assessment (EIA), regardless of its content, would allow any project to go unstoppably forward to completion. The scientific community contributed greatly to Brazil's environmental licensing system and now must redouble its efforts to communicate its importance.