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Revista Árvore

Print version ISSN 0100-6762


DURIGAN, Giselda et al. Legal rules for ecological restoration: an additional barrier to hinder the success of initiatives?. Rev. Árvore [online]. 2010, vol.34, n.3, pp.471-485. ISSN 0100-6762.

State regulation on restoration techniques is a recent development in Brazil, and to the best of our knowledge, it is unprecedented in the world. Not surprisingly, controversy exists among Brazilian researchers and professionals about the appropriateness of such legislation. Here we offer a critical analysis of the resolution SMA 08 of the Secretary of Environment of the State of Sao Paulo, a law which aims to standardize the mixed planting of degraded areas. We believe that the State rules are based on assumptions not supported by scientific experimentation, since the present understanding of ecological processes involved in the restoration of tropical forests is far from being sufficient for standards or norms to be established as yet on this vast subject. In addition, the technicians who prepare projects and those who license and monitor such projects do not have the knowledge necessary to implement the rules of the Resolution. We also argue that strict rules are likely to constrain creativity and inhibit initiatives of scientists and restoration practitioners, and thus constitute a barrier to innovation and creativity. It also may well retard expansion of restoration to wider areas. From the perspective of biodiversity conservation objectives, we also believe that the creation of commercial demand for propagation material of rare and threatened species could endanger the conservation of natural populations of these species, which should be targeted for specific programs. In conclusion, we suggest that the Resolution has not helped to accelerate the expansion of restored areas nor does it increase the probability of success of restoration initiatives.

Keywords : Environmental legislation; Ecological restoration and Resolution SMA 08.

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