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Letter

Public response

by Wolf Dagmar

Opinion

D+C / E+Z

D+C / E+Z

In our January edition, we published a letter from our reader concerning the article “Protecting the environment” by Lea Dünow, Christian Pirzer and Anja Schelchen in October.

Trees on someone else’s land

Lea Dünow, Christian Pirzer and Anja Schelchen: ­“Protecting the environment”

I am upset at your essay’s failing to mention property rights. Who will want to plant trees on someone else’s land? Doing so would not even make sense on public ground, since private interests dominate local politics in Brazil. The trees would not be taken care of and soon destroyed or used for private benefit.  

The report’s key expression “mutirão” (mutual help) is misleading in this context since it would  presuppose equal rights. Proposing community action which really will only benefit private interests is not a democratic approach in good faith.

Professionals may accept to write this kind of report for the sake of their own employment, and government officials at all levels play along. Your essay, however, grossly overlooks the needs of the people concerned.

Dirk Belau, São Paulo