Senator’s bill that reduces reserves in the Amazon will be debated in Senate

Jaime Bagatolli's proposal amends the Forest Code (Composition: Weslley Santos/Revista Cenarium)
Karina Pinheiro – From Cenarium Magazine

MANAUS (AM) – A Bill of Law (PL) that aims to reduce reserve areas in municipalities in the Legal Amazon is to be discussed in the Constitution, Justice and Citizenship Commission (CCJ) of the Federal Senate next Wednesday, the 13th. The text was written by bolsonarist senator Jaime Bagattoli (PL/RO).

Jaime Bagatolli (left) and Jair Bolsonaro (Reproduction/Instagram)

Bill No. 3334 of 2023 proposes amending Law No. 12,651 of May 25, 2012, the Forest Code, which establishes the obligation to maintain an area of 80% native vegetation cover on all rural properties, in the case of properties located in the Legal Amazon, as a Legal Reserve.

According to the bill’s initial text, the law is applied unevenly between the country’s regions. The author believes that this requirement, although conservationist, jeopardizes the economic development of rural properties and the entire region.


“Municipalities affected in more than 50% of their territory by public UCs and Indigenous Lands should benefit from the reduction of the Legal Reserve, not just for the purposes of recomposition, as they already make a significant contribution to environmental conservation and suffer too much from the economic restrictions that this contribution imposes.”, points out the PL’s excerpt.

What the bill says

The proposal is to reduce vegetation cover on rural properties from 80% to 50% in municipalities that have more than 50% of their territory in Conservation Units (UC) and TIs, since the municipality would be making a “significant” contribution to environmental conservation. The reduction would be based on the same criteria determined by the public authorities of each state.

Excerpt from the initial text of the bill (Reproduction)

The Forest Code stipulates that every rural property must maintain an area with 80% native vegetation cover, in the case of the Legal Amazon, in forest areas. However, the law stipulates that when indicated by the state’s Ecological-Economic Zoning (ZEE), the federal government can reduce this area to 50% of the property, “in exclusive cases for regularization purposes, through recomposition, regeneration or compensation of the Legal Reserve of properties with consolidated rural areas, located in forest areas located in the Legal Amazon, with the exception of priority areas for the conservation of biodiversity and water resources and ecological corridors”.

The initial text criticizes the number of protected areas in the region, such as Conservation Units (UC) and Indigenous Lands (TI), pointing out that the measures cause damage to the productive capacity of states and municipalities.

“The Amazon also contributes with the largest extensions of nature conservation units (UC) and Indigenous Lands (TI) in the whole country, both in absolute numbers and percentages. Considering the total number of protected areas, whether in the public or private domain, we have a situation where the productive capacity of the states and municipalities in the region is greatly affected”, the initial text describes.

On February 28, the bill received a favorable opinion from the rapporteur, Senator Marcio Bittar (União Brasil-AC). He stated that the new rule should ensure preservation by adding up the areas of conservation units, indigenous lands and the legal reserve areas of rural properties.

Read the text of the bill and the rapporteur’s opinion in full:

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Edited by Marcela Leiros
Reviewed by Gustavo Gilona
Translated by Bruno Sena

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