UT Law Student Wins Postgrad Fellowship to Brazil

Shannon Gentile Sims, J.D. Class of 2011 was recently awarded the Institute for Current World Affairs Forest and Society Fellowship. For the next 2 years she will be living in Brazil and studying stakeholder involvement in the governance of the South Atlantic Coastal Forest, the Mata Atlântica. The Mata Atlântica runs the extent of the eastern seaboard of Brazil, and only about 7% of the original forest cover remains. Recent proposed amendments to the Forest Code in Brazil (that recently passed through the lower legislature) will create loopholes that will for example, allow some past deforestation crimes to be forgiven. There is evidence of a 60% increase in deforestation just in the months since this amendment was proposed. Ms. Sims will study the impacts of the passage (or failure) of these amendments, through the use of her legal background and photography skills.