Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Brazilians protest against new environmental laws

Environmental activists dressed as clowns, holding chainsaws made from Styrofoam and plastic stand on top of the Monumento às Bandeiras or Flag Monument during a protest against proposed changes to Brazil’s Forest Code, which protects deforestation of the Amazon, in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Sunday May 22, 2011. (AP Photo/Andre Penner)

SAO PAULO (AP) -- Brazilian authorities say about 1,000 people gathered in South America's biggest city to protest against environmental law changes that they say would increase deforestation in the Amazon.

Brazil's Congress is expected to vote this week on whether to ease environmental laws in favor of Brazilian farmers who are seeking more space to raise cattle.

Farmers are supporting a bill that would let them clear half the land on their properties in environmentally sensitive areas. Current law allows farmers to clear just 20 percent of their land in the Amazon zone.

The protesters want revisions in the legislation to protect the rain forest.

Former Brazil Environmental Minister Marina Silva attended Sunday's protest in Sao Paulo.

(Mainichi Japan) May 23, 2011

Vocabulary WordsRead the vocabulary words and the example sentences. Make your own sentence using the vocabulary word/s afterwards. 

protest (v. or n.): an expression or declaration of objection, disapproval in opposition to something
a protest against increased taxation
deforestation (n.): an act of clearing or destroying the forest
Should deforestation be made legal in Japanese forests?
ease (v.): enact or to make legal
The government will ease the bill on one child policy.
bill (n.): a proposed law
The Governor read the bill through again.
zone (n.): area
This is an English-only zone.

Comprehension check: Answer the questions based on the article.
1. Why are the people protesting?
2. What is expected from Brazil’s Congress about this matter?
3. What kind of bill does the Brazilian farmers support?

Agree or Disagree: Explain your answer.
1. Forests are more important than agricultural lands.
2. Humans will be affected in many ways if the forests will be destroyed.

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