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16 September 2013
Federal Law 9,985/2000 details 12 different types of environmentally protected area. These can be divided into two groups – areas of sustainable use and areas of full protection. In areas of sustainable use, the exploitation of natural resources must be performed in a renewable manner, in order to maintain biodiversity and promote sustainable development. In contrast, in areas of full protection, ecosystems must remain free from human interference; their natural resources can be used only indirectly.
With respect to fauna, the Fauna Protection Law (5,197/1967) sets forth that animals of any species and in any stage of development living out of captivity will constitute wildlife fauna and are thereby considered government property. The protection of flora is enforced mainly by the Forestry Code (4771/1965), which establishes the most important rules on the subject, as well as special rules for the removal of protected vegetation. Furthermore, as one of Brazil's most important ecosystems with incredible biodiversity, the Mata Atlantica region has gained its own protective law (Federal Law 11428/2006), which regulates the use and enjoyment of the ecosystem in the region in harmony with its protection. Moreover, Brazil has ratified the Washington Convention, which is enforced through resolutions issued by the Brazilian Institute for the Environment and Renewable Natural Resources, setting forth the main regulations on the protection of endangered fauna and flora.
An earlier version of this update first appeared in Latin Lawyer.
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Maria Alice Doria