The Case of Brazil
Edited by Werner Baer
Chapter 10: The Use of Native Forests versus Economic Growth in Brazil: Is it Possible to Reach a Balance?
Carlos José Caetano Bacha 10.1 INTRODUCTION This chapter analyzes the unsustainable use of Brazilian native forests and how this process is associated with Brazilian economic growth. For this purpose, the chapter focuses on the period between 1930 and 2011. The use of native forests in Brazil is regulated by forest policy. This is implemented through a series of Acts intended to control the deforestation process, to regulate the sustainable use of the remaining native forests, and to encourage reforestation. Brazil’s forest policy has been systematic since 1934, when the first forest code came into effect. It was strengthened in the 1960s and the 1990s, when new amendments to the forest policy were issued and specific legislation concerning the use of water resources, and environmental crime in connection with forest legislation, came into effect. This legislation has created a complex legal framework that, in principle, would control deforestation in Brazil if all the aforementioned legislation were obeyed. However, deforestation continues to occur at different paces among the Brazilian states, and without respect for existing forest legislation. The forest policy for the control of deforestation is classified as an incomes policy, which is constituted in a series of regulations that restrict the production and trade of products. Other examples of incomes policy are: labor legislation, defining rules for the use of the workforce and wages; zoning policies for the use of land, defining what share of a physical territory can be used and how it can be used; and price-setting policies (such...
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