General News

13 de September de 2017

STF judgment may be one of the most important decisions for the conservation of forests in private properties in Brazil

Por Comunicação

(text translated with support of Google Translate from orginal text in Portuguese)

The Federal Supreme Court (STF) has voted four requests for Direct Unconstitutionality Actions (ADI) on Wednesday (13) that question the provisions of Federal Law 12.651 / 12, known as the Brazilian Forest Code. The approval of the new law, in the year 2012, which establishes the rules for the exploitation of native vegetation in Brazil, favored a drastic reduction of the conservation parameters of forest areas.

The ADIs (4,901, 4,902, 4,903 and 4,937) filed by the Attorney General’s Office (PGR) question, in particular, the mechanisms that relate to Permanent Preservation Areas (APP) and the possibility of reducing Legal Reserve (RL) – parameters that establish the areas that need to be preserved within private properties. In addition, the controversial amnesty to rural producers that deforested areas until July 2008 is pointed out by the Unconstitutionality Shares.

If maintained, the New Forest Code will allow the reduction of APPs in the riverbanks, make the Legal Reserve rules more flexible and favor the deforestation of almost 90 million hectares, as well as fail to recover another 29 million that were deforested by 2008. In practice , the extent of this damage to the conservation of private natural areas is equal to the size of the combined countries Italy and France.

These setbacks contradict even what Brazil affirms in its Federal Constitution, in Article 225, “… the right to the environment ecologically balanced, well of common use of the provo and essential to the healthy quality of life …”.

Believing in the importance of the decision to be taken by the STF, the Society for Wildlife Research and Environmental Education (SPVS) together with more than 50 other conservation organizations sign a manifesto pointing out some of the weaknesses of the new law and positioning itself in favor of a judgment rigorous and free of pressures from economic sectors, that defends the interests of the majority of the Brazilian population. The manifesto was delivered to the ministers of the Supreme Court. Read it in its entirety by accessing the link (Portuguese only)

On the other hand, the new law has also brought important advances, such as the process of registering rural properties in the Rural Environmental Cadastre System (SiCar), a tool that allows, for the first time on a national scale, a more refined reading on the conditions of each rural property, observing the native vegetation areas and the environmental liabilities and assets. The ADIs do not question these legal provisions of the New Forest Code.