A decade of delays and disappointment: ten years of Brazil’s Forest Code

The leading piece of legislation to manage environmental conservation on private lands, Brazil's Forest Code has now been in effect for ten years — and positive results are nowhere to be seen

Amazon patch of land cleared by cattle ranchers. Photo: Paralaxis/Shutterstock

Ten years ago this week, after years of intense back and forth in Brazil’s Congress, lawmakers approved a sweeping update to the country’s so-called Forest Code — the set of rules that dictates how Brazil’s natural vegetation can be used and exploited.

However, despite the introduction of important tools that promised to protect Brazil’s environment, the first decade of the new Forest Code’s existence has been one of mounting deforestation — and the law itself has never fully been put to use.

Such legislation is particularly important in the preservation of Brazil’s natural ecosystems, as 53 percent of the country’s...

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