Legal Magazine

Brazilian Forest Code

Posted on the 26 February 2013 by Angelicolaw @AngelicoLaw

Government officials praise the new Brazilian Forest Code as having brought an end to an “industry of fines and punitive legislation,” and the start of a law that is educational and focused on environmental gains.

Rules, regulations and restrictions in the new Brazilian Forest Code:

  • Restrictions on importing forestry and agricultural products from countries that do not operate under environmental laws similar to the new code regulations.
  • Mandated maintenance of environmental reserves inside farms. The size of the reserve area will depend on the size and location of the property and the distinctive plant and animal groups (biomes) of the area.
  • Permanent preservation areas (APPs) to be established and maintained along river banks.
  • The creation of the Program for the Environment (PRAs), which allows for establishing concise standards for rural properties.
  • Ability for effective land use in order to produce essential conditions for efficient land management.

The new Forest Code allows agricultural concerns already in production to continue, with the requirement that vegetation along rivers be restored. The owners of medium- and large-sized rural properties will be required to reforest land along riverbanks a minimum of 21 yards into the property from the water edge. The new regulations also prohibit the planting of non-native trees, such as fruit-trees, as part of the recovery preservation re-planting program.

As part of this new initiative, the Rural Environmental Registry has been established. This is an electronic database compiling information from all Brazilian states for the purpose of enforcing the new regulations.

Protecting an ecosystem as vast and as diverse as that found in Brazil is a daunting task. Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff believes the new Forest Code will be vital in maintaining a balance between the environmental, economic and social needs of Brazil and its people.

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