CAR for “English see”Tuesday May 13th, 2014
Rural Environmental Registry (CAR), officially launched last week, is likely to be innocuous tool in environmental management of farms
May 13, 2014
* Flavia Camargo
The official launch of the Rural Environmental Registry (CAR) at the national level demonstrates, once again, the lack of priority for the federal government to environmental management in the field. The national CAR was set up by new federal legislation (Law 12,651 / 2012) which repealed the old Forest Code. Your goal is to register the environmental information on more than five million farms in the country to boost the reforestation of illegally deforested areas.
Last week, the government published Decree No. 8,235 / 14 and Instruction No. 2 of the Ministry of Environment (MMA) to regulate the order. As it is explained in both standards, however, the CAR could become an innocuous little tool that will serve for proper environmental management of farms.
It took nearly two years of waiting. This delay has had negative impacts on the field. The wait for the regulation including demobilized producers who were seeking their environmental compliance even before the new forest legislation was approved. Several nurseries – key link in the chain of forest recovery – had a significant drop in sales, not counting those out of business.
The only plausible explanation for the delay could be the fact that the government needed time to perfect the registration system. But after these two years, what we have is a regulation in reverse. The environmental registry will be a purely declaratory instrument without the proper necessary technical support. Tracking a qualified technician will simply be “optional”.
Upon enrollment, without your registration is analyzed and validated by the environmental agency, the producer will sign the term sheet to perform environmental restoration. While the term of commitment is being fulfilled, fines relating to deforestation are suspended until that occurred July 22, 2008 (date of amnesty defined in the new law).
What does that mean? It means that the CAR will be a useful tool to facilitate environmental compliance of the producers who had illegally cleared, even if it does not necessarily translate into effective environmental improvements. Enrollment in the CAR can be done by the farmer himself and his statements will be sufficient for the signing of the term sheet.
If the intention is to perform quality CAR, it makes no sense that the application is made without the need to support, as already warned (see here – http://isa.to/1exwJn1 ). Not sure from the beginning, the input data with technical quality compromises the efficiency and effectiveness of this instrument. The worst is that, according to the decree, the producer will also be dispensed to hire a technician to the drafting of the “simplified proposal” aimed at restoration, recovery, regeneration or compensation of Legal Reserve. This “simplified proposal” is nothing more than one of the base documents for the signing of the term sheet .
Similarly, it makes sense the term sheet be signed unless the information entered in the register have been validated. Both the decree and in the normative instruction, there is no term outlook for the analysis and validate the registration, which indicates the lack of theme priority.
The registration validation needs to be before the signing of the term sheet. Only in this way, the producer may sign the term based on information which has been attested as to the veracity of the data and technical suitability. It is completely unreasonable that a term sheet is signed for only at a later time be made to validate the information on which the commitment was made.
The biggest problem of the signing of the term sheet without the validation of information refers to the legal consequences of the term. While it is being fulfilled, the fines will be suspended, as already mentioned. Therefore, as the term implies these consequences, there is even more reason for the validation of the registration data is made before it is signed.
Another advantage for producers who deforested illegally: suffice the registration receipt in the CAR to be able to access rural credit. It also makes no sense. Enrollment in the CAR can not be defined only as a bureaucratic act of statement without it being made checking the bona fide nature of the information provided.
It should also highlight the supposed analogy CAR system with the system of IRS for income tax return. This analogy is often used by many managers to justify the current system of environmental registration. However, it is an analogy of fragile bases.
The system of IRS, although declaratory also offers a number of databases of other related systems so that the information is confronted and attested. In addition, much of the revenue collection with this tax comes directly from the salaried payroll, ie, a significant part of the collection takes place even before the statement.
In the case of CAR, the situation is different. Outside the database the borders of protected areas (indigenous lands, protected areas and quilombo territories), the rural settlements and the few properties that have been georeferenced by the National Institute of Colonization and Agrarian Reform (Incra), Brazil has no basis for sufficient data to assist in checking the declared information. In fact, it was expected that the CAR could cover this gap and in part could constitute an important database to assist in the management of the Brazilian rural territory. However, considering the current conditions, it is hard to believe that this instrument will be effective.
The MMA preferred to decrease the requirements in order to speed up the registration. But the court dismissed that there are limits that simplification of processes so that the quality of the register is guaranteed. Soon we will have thousands of entries “made”. Too bad it will be of questionable quality. The numerical goals registration may even be achieved, however, the use of registration as an environmental management tool will likely be compromised if there are no changes in the regulation of CAR direction.
* Agronomist and advisor to the Policy Program and the ISA Environmental Law
Originally published in the Socio-Environmental Institute blog