Opinion: Code imbroglioWednesday April 23rd, 2014
Mario Mantovani and Marcia Hirota *
The new Forest Code, which already complete two years, can promote the regularization of 5.2 million rural properties through the Rural Environmental Registry (CAR) and carry out the recovery of degraded areas in the country. However, the lack of regulation of the Brazilian Forest Law, which has been stalled since 2012, affect the productive sector, society and country.
There is no guarantee the origin of farm products without environmental regulation and this makes the Brazil lose competitiveness and markets – is claiming the Brazilian Beef Industry and Exporters Association (Abiec) and the Association of Vegetable Oil Industries. These associations are urging the regulations of the Forest Code and point out that deadlines and forms for environmental regularization of rural properties depend on the edition of this normative instruction.
This imbroglio, as opposed to seeking those who supported the changes introduced in the new Forest Law, holds various sectors in irregular situation and legal uncertainty.
Brazilian society was mobilized with the campaign “Veta Dilma” in defense of a modern forestry legislation, able to reconcile environmental conservation and mega diversity of Brazil, with real progress to agribusiness and family farming. Petitions and public demonstrations, various sectors have supported the Executive to veto the principiais setbacks of the new Forest Code, as the amnesty for loggers and the reduction of permanent preservation areas surrounding rivers and springs, to ensure water to cities and field and minimize extreme weather events.
Shortly after the publication of the current Forest Act, with timid vetoes, civil organizations and the SOS Atlantic Forest have launched the “Let it be”, to take the role of positive instruments such as the CAR and the PRA (Environmental Recovery Plan). technical meetings, seminars and forums have been promoted in various regions of the country in order to implement the CAR, and from this great record, create real conditions to minimize land conflicts and regulate the management of land, making it compatible with environmental conservation .
The Federal Government differed in the Law, in stages, smallholders with more lenient requirements for environmental recovery. But now some sectors want to further relax the Forest Code and put pressure on the House of Representatives. They envision the possibility to benefit from some big owners with the registration of property by registration of real estate. This would fit a large estate, which hold several registrations, as small, and thus reduce the obligations.
This maneuver, which returns to provide amnesty to loggers, unfortunately divides the Executive already quite worn in this conflict, puts the Ministries of Agriculture and Environment in opposite positions and further away from the legislature of the aspirations of society.
The proposal to spin off rural properties for enrollment, and absurd, is a clear attempt to circumvent the law and make a few get rid of legal obligations. The Federal Government needs to put an end to this mess, regulate the Forest Code, implement the CAR and enforce the law.
The regulation of the Brazilian Forestry Law and the implementation of the CAR unites good agribusiness, landowners, state governments and environmentalists.
* Mario Mantovani is Director of Public Policy and Marcia Hirota is Executive Director of the SOS Atlantic Forest Foundation
(First published in Brazil Post)