The evolution of Brazilian forest concessions

7 de maio de 2015

maio 7, 2015

Claudia Azevedo-Ramos, José Natalino Macedo Silva, Frank Merry

In 2006 Brazil passed legislation allowing concessions for industrial timber harvest in public forests. This decision was part of a broader effort to control deforestation, which had spiked to its second highest level, of about 25,000 km2, in 2004. Specifically, concessions were implemented as a means to control a rampaging timber industry while providing a source of accessible timber for sustainable harvest. Timber concessions, however, are not without their critics worldwide.

Here we review the process undertaken to address international concerns over concessions in the policy design, we discuss the process of implementation in Brazil from 2007 to 2014 and then attempt to provide insight into the challenges that lie ahead. Our findings suggest that even though Brazil’s policy designers had the full knowledge of the difficulties with timber concessions, and attempted to design a concession framework to address those concerns, deeper structural problems within the industry and within government itself have prevented the successful scaling up of the concession model.

Key hurdles include: government overlap and duplication causing unbearable transaction costs and risks to investors; an industry ill prepared and unwilling to adapt to the stringent requirements set in the policy; and little success in curtailing illegal logging beyond concession borders. While concessions remain a potentially important tool for the management of public forests, additional resources and time will need to be invested to overcome these barriers.

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Veja também

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