The Role of Law
Edited by Ed Couzens, Alexander Paterson, Sophie Riley and Yanti Fristikawati
Chapter 5: Biodiversity and agriculture – friends or foes? The legal implementation of agroforestry practices in Brazil
This chapter considers the uneasy relationship between the protection of biological diversity and the promotion of agriculture. The history of agriculture in Brazil is considered, with problems that have been caused by agriculture. Legislative control has increased but has not proved adequate and biodiversity has continued to decline. The thrust of the chapter is to suggest ways in which a new approach could be taken – an integrated management approach that introduces the concept of ‘agroforestry’ and balances biodiversity protection with agricultural practices. The chapter commences by first considering the form, nature and importance of agroforestry, the recognition accorded to it in key international conventions, and elements found in legal and policy frameworks providing for its effective domestic implementation. The legal and policy elements that have underpinned successful agroforestry regimes are considered, and then it is demonstrated that agricultural production and biodiversity conservation can be allies through the adoption of agroforestry practices. Possible obstacles to implementation are considered and then, in light of this context, the Brazilian legal framework is critically evaluated with a view to determining whether it provides a workable regime for promoting agroforestry.
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