Science has been nearly silent in Brazil’s Forest Code debate

A recent push to revise Brazil’s forest code has emerged as one of the more contentious political issues in the country, pitting agribuisness against environmentalists trying to preserve the Amazon rainforest. Historically, the forest code has required private landowners to maintain a substantial proportion of natural forest cover on their properties, though the law has often been ignored. 


Now, a powerful “ruralista” bloc, consisting of large farmers and ranchers, argues that the forest code needs to be relaxed in order for Brazil to continue its breakneck growth as an agroindustrial superpower. These ruralistas contend that because the forest code has been so widely flouted—more than 90 percent of landowners in the Amazon are operating illegally—a large component of the Brazilian economy is effectively “illegal”, undermining governance and efforts to improve land management.

Read More: Science has been nearly silent in Brazil’s Forest Code debate.

One Comment on “Science has been nearly silent in Brazil’s Forest Code debate

  1. Since it came to power in 2003 the Lula government has been embroiled in a conflict between six large-scale rice growers and 19 000 indigenous people over 4.2 million acres of Amazon grassland forest and river called Raposa Serra do Sol in the northernmost state of Roraima on the border with Venezuela and Guiana. The Minister for Agriculture confirms that 70 of rice produced in Roraima is produced in Raposa Serra do Sol..Yet according to data from the Brazilian Institute for Geography and Statistics IBGE Roraimas contribution to the countrys total agricultural production is tiny the state produces just 1.3 of Brazils rice and its contribution to all cereals legumes and oilseeds is only .1 in fact the entire north which represents 45 of Brazils national territory and is almost entirely Amazon rainforest produces just 2.6 ..There are about 750 000 indigenous people in Brazil of whom 70 live in the Amazon. The families of the five tribes in Raposa Serra do Sol are mostly peasants–campesinos–cultivating beans corn and manioc for family consumption and local markets hunting in the forest and fishing in rivers..According to Picanco a continuous reserve is important because land and territory ensure the essential elements for the survival of the indigenous people in Raposa Serra do Sol and the physical and cultural reproduction of future generations.

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