SÃO PAULO, Brazil — Today, at 13:55 Brasilia time (17:55 BST), the Brazilian Congress is expected to vote on the Project of Law (PL) 2633/2020. If passed, it would put at risk millions of hectares of public land in the Amazon and pave the way for millions more hectares of deforestation. 
The law would benefit criminals by giving them legal rights to any land grabbed up to 2018, as well as incentivising them to steal more land and destroy more precious rainforest in future.
“Passing this law would be like plunging a dagger into the lungs of the world,” said Daniela Montalto, Greenpeace forest campaigner.
“President Bolsonaro and the Brazilian agribusiness sector are using the Covid-19 health crisis as cover to reward criminals in the Amazon. The law would give them rights to claim ownership of untold hectares of stolen public land as well as incentivising them to steal millions more.
“Land grabbers will no doubt feel emboldened to continue forest destruction with little fear of prosecution, causing further threat to Indigneous groups, and raising the risk of future pandemics as vital habitats are reduced to logs and ash. No international company could continue to trade with Brazil with this law in place and still claim they were taking environmental concerns and sustainability seriously.”
Scientists recently gave their gravest warning yet that the Amazon is nearing tipping point . Unless the current catastrophic rates of deforestation are halted and reversed, they predict that in less than 20 years’ time the forest will no longer be able to generate enough rain to sustain itself. This would threaten the very existence of some Indigenous groups already being made vulnerable to Covid-19 as invaders enter their territories. It would also wipe out millions of wildlife species – some as yet undiscovered – and put the entire planet at even greater risk of climate breakdown.
 The law was originally introduced in December 2019 as Provisional Measure 910/2019 (MP 910). The Bill as proposed on 14 May can be found here: https://www.camara.leg.br/proposicoesWeb/fichadetramitacao?idProposicao=2252589
According to Imazon’s estimation, if passed the proposal would privatise 19.6 million hectares of federal, public land and open the door for the clearing of up to 16,000 km2 (1.6m ha) of Amazon forests in the next seven years (2027), .
Amazon states hold an additional 36 million hectares of non-designated public state land (http://www.florestal.gov.br/documentos/informacoes-florestais/cadastro-nacional-de-florestas-publicas/cnfp-2017/3592-mapa-cnfp-2017-portugues-1/file)
 Guardian: Amazon rainforest ‘close to irreversible tipping point’ https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/oct/23/amazon-rainforest-close-to-irreversible-tipping-point