On Thursday (June 29), CNA held a meeting with members of foreign embassies, who are part of the group Diplomats of Brazilian Agriculture (DAB), to discuss the Rural Environmental Registry (CAR) and its role in complying with the Brazilian Forest Code.
This year’s second meeting was held at CNA’s headquarters in Brasilia. It was attended by representatives who work with issues related to agriculture in the embassies of Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Chile, Colombia, El Salvador, the European Union, France, Italy, Malawi, New Zealand, Portugal, South Africa, and the United States.
CNA’s International Relations Director, Sueme Mori, opened the event, which had as lecturer CNA’s Sustainability Coordinator, Nelson Ananias. He spoke about what CAR is, how it works, and the importance of sustainability in food production.
In his presentation, Ananias pointed out that the world is watching Brazil because it is the country with the second-largest forest area in the world. The native vegetation equals 66.3% of the national territory, and 33% of this total is inside rural properties. Even though the country is breaking production records, agriculture activities are performed in only 7.8% of the area.
“Brazilian agribusiness had a leap in the last years with the intensive use of technology. In 47 years, production grew 560%, productivity (tons per hectare) 220%, and area, 106%. To produce the same volume as today with the technology of 47 years ago, we would have to expand 188 million hectares. This shows that our production increased vertically.”
Ananias said that Brazil has the most significant productive potential to ensure food security, producing food for the country and the world. He also said that farmers are aware of their responsibility for sustainability and compliance with the rules of the Forest Code, which brought relevant concepts, such as Permanent Preservation Area (APP), Legal Reserve (RL), and the largest initiative of registration of forests and land occupation in the world: the CAR.
“Before talking about the Rural Environmental Registry, it is important to remember that the Forest Code is not optional or additional—it is mandatory. The legislation was reviewed in 2012 to reconcile the production and the preservation of native vegetation in the country. Therefore, we are not promising to preserve 80% of the Legal Reserve in the Amazon and 20% in the Cerrado and other biomes—this is already a reality,” he said.
He also explained that the CAR is a mandatory public registry for all rural properties. Its goal is to integrate environmental data to control and monitor land use on private properties and promote public policies and transparency to fulfill national and international environmental commitments, such as combating deforestation.
“Through CAR, one can learn the size of an APP or Legal Reserve within a property and whether there are any liabilities to be solved concerning the Environmental Regularization Program (PRA).
CNA’s Sustainability Coordinator informed that, in order to formalize the liabilities on properties, the government must analyze the registrations. Of the 6.6 million declared, only 0.68% had a complete analysis, and 23% were examined to some degree. “PRA helps the producer to return to legality. Without these environmental instruments, the producer can’t obtain rural credit and technical assistance,” he said.
According to Ananias, besides enforcing the Forest Code, another challenge for the country is related to the land issue. He said that, for an occupant to be eligible for rural property registration, it is necessary to have the CAR: “Before possessing the land, he or she already must make the environmental registry and comply with the legislation.”
For the diplomats, it was a great opportunity to learn more about Brazilian legislation. “Understanding how this mechanism works, the incredibly high number of records it holds, and its reach in ensuring compliance with the Forest Code in Brazil has been a highly enriching asset for the work we do here at the embassies,” said Daniel Moreno, Second Secretary at Colombia Embassy in Brazil.
DAB & CNA Dialogues
The Diplomats of Brazilian Agriculture (DAB) is a group of diplomats from over 60 countries based in Brasilia, which meets regularly to discuss several issues related to Brazilian and world agriculture. Currently, the group is chaired by Argentina, and the management committee is formed of representatives from 12 countries, the European Union, and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). DAB and CNA meet frequently, as opportunities to strengthen relations between Brazilian farmers and the international community.