On-line version ISSN 1676-0603
BRANCALION, Pedro Henrique Santin and RODRIGUES, Ricardo Ribeiro. Agricultural land reduction due to the compliance with the current Forest Code: a study case of sugarcane production in the State of São Paulo. Biota Neotrop. [online]. 2010, vol.10, n.4, pp. 63-66. ISSN 1676-0603. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1676-06032010000400009.
One of the major reasons of the proposed changes of the Brazilian Forest Code is that its compliance would supposedly harm several agricultural sectors, although this reason has been weakly supported by data. The goal of this work was to evaluate the implication of the compliance with the Forest Code for reducing areas of sugarcane production in the State of São Paulo, aiming to estimate the upper limit of potential losses that the application of the Forest Code could bring to the economic viability of important sectors of Brazilian agricultural production. We analyzed 23 projects of environmental planning carried out in 1,961 landholdings of sugarcane mills from São Paulo State, which totalized 533,097 ha (9.7% of the cultivated area with sugarcane in the state). In these projects, we carried out an environmental zoning of Permanent Protected Areas (PPA), lands of agricultural production, and potential lands to constitute Legal Reserves. The results indicated that, on average, 10.4% of the total area of each farm was classified as PPA, and that only 21.2% of PPA area (2.2% of the total area) were occupied by some kind of agricultural production. Sugarcane occupied, in average, 12.1% of the areas classified as PPA (1.2% of the total area). Overall, 76.5% of the total area of projects was occupied by sugarcane fields and the sum of potential areas for compliance with the Legal Reserve, which were constituted by forest remnants (5.0% of total area), abandoned lands (2.3% of total area), and lands with other uses (6.3% of total area), would result in 13.6% of the total area and consequently generate a deficit of 6.4% of lands for the full compliance with the Legal Reserve (20%). This deficit could even be compensated, by law, outside the landholding register in landscapes with lower agriculture suitability. Therefore, the diagnostics presented in this work for the sugarcane sector in the State of São Paulo indicates that compliance with the current Forest Code would not reduce agricultural production, which highlight that part of the arguments that are favorable for changes in the Forest Code need to be revisited in the light of concrete data and in a less speculative way.
Keywords : environmental policy; environmental planning; land use; riparian areas; forest restoration.