Project legacy sees enhanced transparency in compliance with Brazil’s Native Vegetation Protection Law

BVRio celebrates the completion of a successful cooperation project with the Forest Code Observatory, an initiative that aimed to develop actions and tools to promote transparency and access to information among key stakeholders in the implementation of the Native Vegetation Protection Law (No. 12.651/12), popularly known as the Brazilian Forest Code. BVRio’s partnership in the project, which ended this month, played a crucial role in finding solutions to the obstacles faced in implementing the Code, with the overall aim of contributing to reducing deforestation and restoring degraded areas.

One of the project’s key achievements was the development of the ‘Forest Code Monitoring Portal’, coordinated by BVRio. This portal brings together rules developed by the states of the Federation relating to the Environmental Regularisation Programme (PRA), providing a space for monitoring and comparing state rules. The Forest Code Monitoring Portal has been well received, with most views concentrated on the pages related to PRAs, particularly in consultations with the states of Pará, Amazonas, and Mato Grosso.

BVRio also developed three information dashboards for the portal, providing information on how buyers and investors of agricultural commodities verify the origin and impact of these products on Brazil’s native vegetation. These dashboards address the engagement of the private sector, the involvement of financial institutions and the identification of properties that protect native vegetation above the minimum area required by the law.

The private sector engagement dashboard highlights companies’ responsibility for preserving forest areas and adopting practices that minimise negative environmental impacts, while the financial institution engagement dashboard aims to increase transparency about how these institutions obtain and analyse information about compliance with the Forest Code in order to provide rural credit to their clients. This year we also launched the ‘Forest Surplus’ dashboard, a showcase of the more than 440,000 rural properties with excess native vegetation, totalling at least 59.3 million hectares of surplus native vegetation.

“Tools like these, which allow access to qualified information, are essential for all the players in Brazilian society involved and interested in the country’s sustainable development – be they governments, private initiatives or civil society – to be able to carry out actions in partnership in favour of forest protection and therefore rural production in Brazil.” comments Roberta del Giudice, executive secretary of the Forest Code Observatory.

In addition to its technical contributions, BVRio actively participated in multi-sector forums and supported the mobilisation of civil society to raise awareness of the importance of implementing the Forest Code. Among the initiatives was the organisation of the seminar ‘Economic Incentives for Implementing the Forest Code’ in August this year, which attracted more than 100 interested parties. BVRio’s role also included designing strategies and prospecting for funds to incentivise forest protection and reduce deforestation, especially for private properties with surplus Legal Reserves. The best example is the SIMFlor programme, an initiative of Sustainable Investment Management (SIM), which offers long-term remuneration to properties in the Amazon with more than 80% of their area protected.

Beto Mesquita, BVRio Director of Forests and Public Policies, said, “The effective implementation of the Native Vegetation Protection Law is strategic for the sustainability of Brazilian agribusiness and for fulfilling the country’s climate goals. As a member of the Forest Code Observatory, it was an honour to contribute to this project, which will continue to generate positive results and impacts on this agenda.” From 2024 BVRio will continue to update the Monitoring Portal and collaborate with the OCF’s activities.

This project was developed with the support of the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad), reinforcing the joint commitment to promoting sustainable practices and the potential of international cooperation to boost local initiatives in favour of protecting Brazil’s environmental heritage.