Some doubts about concessions in Brazil: should Brazil shelve its proposed system of forest concessions?

Some doubts about concessions in Brazil: should Brazil shelve its proposed system of forest concessions?

The government of Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva of Brazil inherited, in its National Forest
Program, a formidable proposal to increase the area designated to national forests
(FLONAs) in the Amazon from eight to 50 million hectares by the year 2010. This
objective is an ambitious and worthy conservation goal, and one that appears to be
holding approval, give or take a few million hectares, within the new government.
Attached to this plan, however, is a lingering desire to allow private timber harvesting
on FLONAs through a system of forest concessions. The decision of the previous
government to adopt concessions was based on the premise that such a program
would increase profits from forestry, reduce illegal logging, and increase the adoption of
sustainable forest management practices. The current government has taken a more
cautious approach, but nonetheless continues to be tied to the idea of timber
concessions in FLONAs. In this article, we question the need for concessions and then
identify some major concerns should they become a reality. We argue that while
expanding FLONAs is a good idea, allowing timber harvests within these forests is a
risk that, for now, Brazilian society should not take.

Authors: Merry, F.; Amacher, G.S.; Pokorny B.; Lima, E.; Scholz, I.; Nepstad, D.C.; Zweede, C.J.

Topic: concessions,timbers,timber supply

Geographic: Amazonia,Brazil

Publication Year: 2003

ISSN: 1022-5439

Source: ITTO Tropical Forest Update 13(3): 7-9


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