Brazilian Amazon NGOs Demand Conservation Units

The Amazon Work Group (GTA) – a network consisting of more than 600 non-governmental organizations (NGOs), social movements, labor unions, and community associations from all over the Brazilian Amazon – plan to launch the We’re Fed Up With Paper Units.

The campaign advocates the implementation of conservation units that have already been created but haven’t "gotten off the drawing board."

"At the 8th Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity, in Curitiba, in southern Brazil, we will begin a mobilization to provide the units with management plans and councils," the executive secretary of the network, Adilson Vieira, informed, referring to the Conference that starts this week.

Pursuant to the National System of Conservation Units (SNUC) law passed in 2000, each of the units of sustainable use (which allows the presence of residents), as well as those of total protection (which doesn’t), should have a management plan.

The plan is a technical instrument defining the general purposes of the unit and its zoning, with rules for natural resource use in each part of the unit. Once a conservation unit is created, it has five years for its management plan to be approved.

The SNUC furthermore determines that total protection units and national forests (one of the models of sustainable use units) should have an Advisory Council, responsible for approving and monitoring compliance with the management plan.

The council should be made up of representatives of the government, civil society, and, in the case of national forests, the residents. Other sustainable use units (extraction reserves and sustainable development reserves) should also have a Deliberative Council, likewise including the participation of NGOs and residents’ associations, with decision-making power.

According to André Cruz, a technical specialist with the National Council of Traditional Populations (CNPT) at the Brazilian Institute of the Environment and Renewable Natural Resources (IBAMA), none of the country’s 44 federal extractive reserves has an officially constituted management plan or deliberative council.

Data provided by the IBAMA public relations office indicate that as of January of this year, president Lula’s Administration had created 20 conservation units (containing 8.56 million hectares).

12 of the units, with 8.43 million hectares, are located in the Amazon. Of the 20 units, eight are for total protection (4.44 million hectares), and 12, for sustainable use (4.12 million hectares).

Agência Brasil

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