(Originally posted at http://www.greenpeace.org.uk/groups/edinburgh/blog/letter-brazil-greenpeace-wyd-2013-rio-de-janeiro)
Right now, I'm in Rio de Janeiro, and have spent most of the last week helping Greenpeace Brazil with our presence at the World Youth Day (WYD) 2013, a Catholic event which has brought hundreds of thousands of pílgrims to the city from across Brazil and from around the world. Despite the name, it actually lasts for a week rather than just a day, and has a diverse programme of events which includes music, debates, religious observance and more.
So why are we here? Well, firstly, in Brazil, Greenpeace is currently focusing on growing theZero Deforestation movement, a campaign which is seeking to bring in a "law by popular initiative" which would bring the current problem of continuing deforestation in the Amazon region to a complete halt within five years once passed. In order to get this law discussed by the Brazilian Congress, we need to get the Zero Deforestation petition signed by more than 1% of the entire Brazilian electorate, which comes to about 1.4 million people. Thousands of Brazilians have already signed the petition, but we need a lot more just to get this law considered by Congress, and a huge number more to show enough support to get it passed.