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Provisional Measure that amends the Forest Code threatens the Atlantic Forest protection

The Brazilian Coalition on Climate, Forests and Agriculture is concerned about the advances in the National Congress of the Provisional Measure (MP) 1,150, of December 23, 2022, which amended the rule established in the Forest Code for adherence of rural properties with a native vegetation shortfall to the Environmental Regularization Program (PRA, in Portuguese acronym).

In its original version, the Provisional Measure defined a 180-day deadline for joining, as of the call by the state agency responsible for the analysis of the Rural Environmental Registry (CAR). However, the text approved by the House of Representatives, apart from increasing the deadline for joining the PRA to one year and extending the deadline for CAR registration, included amendments unrelated to its object, changing the Atlantic Forest Law (Law 11,428/2006). 

The amendments imposed to the Forest Code may signal a certain leniency towards rural producers who have not yet promoted the environmental regularization of their rural properties. Legal deadline extensions for Forest Code implementation, whose enactment completes 11 years in May, discourage producers from adapting to the law, delaying recovery of areas vital to conservation, such as permanent preservation areas.

The amendments brought to the Atlantic Forest Law by the approved text are even worse. In one of the most threatened biomes in the world, the changes have a severe impact on the protection and recovery of native vegetation, since they make the possibility of deforesting primary and secondary forests more flexible, put an end to the requirement for environmental compensation for the suppression of native vegetation beyond Permanent Preservation Areas, and drastically limit the size of the area that must be recovered in cases where compensation is required.

As such, the Coalition claims that the Federal Senate approve MP 1,150/2022 considering its original text issued on 12/26/2022, rejecting the presented amendments, which mischaracterize the PM and threaten Brazil’s environmental heritage.

The Forest Code and the Atlantic Forest Law are both essential instruments for the protection of the ecosystem services provided by forests and other forms of native vegetation, on which rural production and the well-being of the population depend on. Its effective compliance is part of the international commitments and constitutes the foundation for the country’s legal, productive, water, and climate security. It is only then that we will attain sustainability and prosperity in rural and urban areas.

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