Questions and answers on the Forest Code

Questions and answers on the Forest Code

(Português do Brasil) Código Florestal em pauta

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What the Forest Code has to do with me?

This law regulates how the vegetation is treated in Brazil, especially within private rural areas. Fulfill it is essential to ensure clean air, abundant water and quality and a stable climate, including for agricultural production.

Why the Forest Code important?

Because it ensures that, on private property, some vegetation is preserved in order to ensure the quality of life of the whole society, the continued production of food and the production of water that supplies our faucets, aquifers, reservoirs and hydroelectric plants that generate energy.

The Forest Code is a new law?

Law 12,651 was published in 2012, but the first version of the Forest Code is 1934. She underwent a renovation in 1965. In the following decades, other laws and provisional measures have updated the Forest Code, until his retirement five years ago.

Why should I worry about a law that deals with forests?

Because it ensures that, on private property, some vegetation is preserved in order to ensure the quality of life of the whole society, the continued production of food and the production of water that supplies our faucets, aquifers, reservoirs and hydroelectric plants that generate energy. The more people understand that the Forest Code is part of their lives, the easier it is to require compliance.

As the Forest Code works?

The Forest Code is a set of rules that regulates the protection of vegetation, the ways in which the forest can be explored and economic and financial instruments that promote these goals.

The main rules governing:

  • How much vegetation should be preserved on the banks of rivers and springs, hills, marshes and wetlands (the permanent preservation areas or APP);
  • What percentage of an estate that should be kept covered with vegetation (the legal reserve);
  • In what circumstances and how that vegetation can be exploited;
  • the recovery of the vegetation when necessary it should be done; and
  • Fire rules of use in the field.

In the 2012 law, they were also created:

  • The Rural Environmental Registry (CAR), electronic registration of geographical design of the farm and where are its legal and APP reserve; and
  • financial and economic instruments to reward those who maintain more and to help those who want to offset or recover what deforested beyond what the law says.

I hear that the Forest Code hinders farmers. It is true?

Some farmers would like to deforest all his property, which is not allowed because the Forest Code has been designed to ensure the common good of the whole society. But production can – and should – go hand to conservation. Who saves forests has a milder climate and more natural resources, which are raw materials for agricultural production.

What the Forest Code has to do with climate change?

All! Preserving forests is a way to remove the carbon dioxide, the main greenhouse gas, from the air at the same time helping to ease local climate change, preserving mild temperatures and steady rainfall regimes, two key factors for agricultural production. On the other hand, since the trees are made of carbon when they are cut and burned this carbon can go into the atmosphere, worsening climate change.