On the Need of Legal Frameworks for Assessing Restoration Projects Success: New Perspectives from Sao Paulo State (Brazil)
This article describes a legal framework that Sao Paulo state of Brazil enacted to promote ecosystem restoration projects on private lands through it's “New Forest Code” in 2012.
Conclusions & Takeaways
Landowners are required to register their lands in an online registry, prove compliance with legally mandated minimum vegetation cover levels, and institute restoration projects if not in compliance, though defensible definitions of “restored” ecosystems are not given. To support the provisions of the New Forest Code, a framework identifying three core indicators (i. percent vegetation cover, ii. density of native saplings, and iii. number of regenerating species) was established under the assumption that a “restored” ecosystem is one who's natural ability to recover from disturbance has been restored. Protocols on monitoring have been released, as well as a standardized time-frame of 20 years in which projects are expected to achieve an “intermediate” classification across all three indicators, or else a penalty and redesign of the restoration project is required. Although the framework is novel in its legal backing, substantial challenges remain related to the institution of projects and monitoring progress. These challenges may occur because reporting of restoration objectives is expected to occur voluntarily by private landholders.
On the need of legal frameworks for assessing restoration projects success: new perspectives from São Paulo state (Brazil). Restoration Ecology. 2015;23:754–759. doi:10.1111/rec.12267..
- Secretariat for the Environment of the State of São Paulo, Centro de Restauração Ecológica, Av. Prof. Frederico Hermann Jr., São Paulo, SP, Brazil
- Assis State Forest, Forestry Institute of the State of São Paulo, SP, Brazil
- Department of Forest Sciences, University of São Paulo, ESALQ, Av. Padua Dias, SP, Brazil
- Centre d'Ecologie Fonctionnelle et Evolutive (UMR 5175), Montpellier, France
- Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO, U.S.A.