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Sustainable bioproducts in Brazil: disputes and agreements on a common ground agenda for agriculture and nature protection


Gerd Sparovek, University of São Paulo, Piracicaba, Brazil 
Laura Barcellos Antoniazzi, Agroicone, São Paulo, Brazil
Alberto Barretto, Brazilian Bioethanol Science and Technology Laboratory, Campinas, Brazil
Ana Cristina Barros, Ministry of Environment of Brazil, Brasília, Brazil
Maria Benevides, ANDI Comunicação e Direitos, Brasília, Brazil
Göran Berndes, Chalmers University of Technology, Gothenburg, Sweden
Estevão do Prado Braga, Suzano Pulp and Paper, São Paulo, Brazil
Miguel Calmon, International Union for Conservation of Nature, Washington D.C., USA
Paulo Henrique Groke Jr, Ecofuturo Instituto, São Paulo, Brazil
Fábio Nogueira de Avelar Marques, Plantar Carbon, Belo Horizonte, Brazil
Mauricio Palma Nogueira, Agroconsult, Florianópolis, Brazil
Luis Fernando Guedes Pinto, Imaflora, Piracicaba, Brazil
Vinicius Precioso, Avesso Sustentabilidade, São Paulo, Brazil

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Abstract: A key question for food, biofuels, and bioproducts production is how agriculture affects the environment, and social and economic development. In Brazil, a large agricultural producer and among the biologically wealthiest of nations, this question is challenging and opinions often clash. The Brazilian parliament and several stakeholders have recently debated the revision of the Forest Act, the most important legal framework for conservation of natural vegetation on Brazilian private agricultural lands. Past decades have shown improvements in the agricultural sector with respect to productivity and effi ciency, along with great reductions in deforestation and growth of environmentally certifi ed production.

However, the opposing sides in the debate have ignored this progress and instead continue to entrench their respective combative positions. A structured exchange involving nine experts associated with major producer interests (livestock, crops, planted forest, and charcoal) and environmental NGOs was moderated based on a framework that sorted viewpoints into four categories: (i) common ground – compatible interests considered to be high priority for Brazilian sustainable agricultural development; (ii) serving exclusive nature conservation interest; (iii) serving exclusive agricultural production interest; and (iv) mainly serving the purpose of sustaining dispute. We conclude that the majority of actions and expected future trends refl ect achievements and ambitions to balance production and conservation, but much public opinion – and in turn decisions in the parliament and government for agriculture and conservation – is shaped by a perceived confl ict between these objectives and a debate that has become, at least to some extent, an end in itself. 

© 2016 Society of Chemical Industry and John Wiley & Sons, Ltd

Keywords: Brazil, Agriculture, Environment, Forest Act, Dispute, Sustainability

Download: 160324154944_Sparovek-et-al-2016-Biofuels,-Bioproducts-and-Biorefining.pdf

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