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Research Report

Can Law Save the Forest?: Lessons from Finland and Brazil

Sofia R. Hirakuri
Copyright Date: Jan. 1, 2003
Pages: 131
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Table of Contents

  1. (pp. 1-4)

    Forests cover almost 25 percent of the world’s land area (FAO 1999:1). Forests provide many environmental benefits, playing a major role in the hydrologic cycle, soil conservation, prevention of climate change and preservation of biological diversity. Forest resources can also provide long-term national economic benefits.¹ Logging is one of the most important economic activities in the forests (Barros and Veríssimo 1996:1); however, forests are threatened by unsustainable forest management practices that have various negative impacts (Bryant et al. 1997:15). Present logging operations can be characterized as ‘forest mining’, because no silvicultural measures are taken to guarantee the regeneration of exploited...

  2. (pp. 5-12)

    Forests are among the most diverse and widespread ecosystems on earth. They are critical in meeting human needs for water, food, shelter, medicine, fuelwood, fodder, and timber. They provide a wide range of environmental services, which include biological diversity conservation, watershed protection, protection of soil, mitigation of global climate change, and protection against desertification (FAO 1999:41). Forests also play a social role, as a home to diverse groups of indigenous peoples and providing recreational benefits.

    However, the human negative impact on forests is a growing concern (OECD 1993:30). The Agenda 21 document highlights the importance of combating deforestation, and enhancing...

  3. (pp. 13-57)

    This chapter examines the current logging control mechanisms in Brazil. A number of problems were identified in the present system. These problems include legal and administrative procedures, human resources, and financial resources. Logging in the Amazonian forest has been unsustainable. One of the factors contributing to the predatory nature of logging in the Amazon is the lack of efficient control and monitoring of exploitation.

    The purpose of this chapter is to provide an overview of compliance with and enforcement of forest management laws, by analysing enforcement instruments such as regulatory and market-oriented approaches, and the factors that influence compliance. In...

  4. (pp. 58-77)

    Forest management has a long tradition in Finland. Since the first forest law was established in the 1880s, the Finns have actively developed it. Forest management has been successful in Finland, achieving a compliance rate of 967 in 1997. How did they achieve this? The two key features that enabled the Finnish system to be successful are the consensus-based approach and market-oriented approach. First, the 1928 Forest Act established a forest extension service to help the forest owners to comply with forestry laws, and to negotiate with them in the case of noncompliance with the laws. The Finnish system is...

  5. (pp. 78-95)

    Forest management law implementation and enforcement are very complex and differ from one country to another. This chapter examines whether the forest management enforcement system which has been successful in Finland can be adapted to the situation in Brazil. As the previous chapters showed, the enforcement of forest policy and the control of forest management plans are handled very differently in these two countries. Nevertheless, some of the approaches used in Finland could be applied to Brazil and other tropical forest countries. These can be divided into three broad categories: the regulatory approach; the market-oriented approach; and the consensus-oriented/social control...