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Brazil on the cusp of passing Policy on Family and Community Forestry
In the next few weeks, the Ministry of Environment of Brazil is set to send to the President an historic new policy on Family and Community Forestry in Brazil, which President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva is expected to sign into law as a new executive decree. The draft policy is currently in a period of public comment. The policy is being heralded as a significant step in establishing sustainable forestry practices that enable active and legal participation of forest communities in sustainable management of the forests.
The process began in July 2007 at the RRI and ITTO International Conference on Community Forestry and Enterprise, held in Rio Branco, Acre State, Brazil. During the conference, a coalition of community leaders, associations and civil society representatives from across Brazil prepared a set of recommendations on how to better support community forestry in Brazil, and presented them to then-Minister of the Environment Marina Silva. Minister Silva, who opened the conference, pledged to develop a new policy and program to support community forestry and enterprise and immediately began working with her staff in Brasilia to get the program underway.
At the 15th meeting of the National Commission on Forests (CONAFLOR) in August 2007, a working group was composed of civil society, federal, and state officials and charged with drafting what became the National Policy on Family and Community Forestry. The draft decree received contributions from members of CONAFLOR and the Commission for the Management of Public Forests (CGFLOP), and was made available to communities around the country for comment.
The innovative policy will implement an annual planning and implementation structure which will be transparently directed by the Brazilian Forestry Service. Every year the goals and activities of forest communities falling under the policy will be developed in a participatory manner, where public ideas and commentary will be integrated in policy outcome strategies. The drafting of annual Policy plans will include a description of all actions to be implemented in that year by various government agencies, creating a framework of accountability. The Policy calls for the effective utilization of credit, technical assistance, capacity building, infrastructure and marketing.
To facilitate this level of Policy support, over 2300 technicians will be trained to provide technical assistance to the community-managed forestry settlements. The goal of the Policy is to have four million hectares of community managed forests by 2010.
Background information on the proposed Policy was provided by Márcia Muchagata of the Brazilian National Forestry Service.
Read a translation of government commentary on the Policy here>>.
Learn more on the July 2007 Community Forestry and Enterprise conference here>>
Read the outcomes of the July 2007 Community Forestry and Enterprise conference here>>
Posted By Lopaka Purdy and Megan Liddle at 3:59pm on December 04, 2008
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