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LET TERS

Proposed legislation in Brazil

Downloaded from http://science.sciencemag.org/ on August 2, 2018
could compromise conservation
efforts in the Cerrado.

Edited by Jennifer Sills appointment of a candidate for presi-
dent of the Instituto Chico Mendes de
British Columbia’s
Brazil’s protected Conservação da Biodiversidade (the
national PA authority) resulted in a
wildlife model reform
areas under threat nationwide protest organized by PA staff
across Brazil (8). Ill-informed policies
British Columbia (BC), Canada—
a continental hotspot of wildlife (1)
Brazil has relished a reputation of jeopardize Brazilian international leader- and a Canadian hotspot of endangered
international leadership in biodiversity ship in conservation, pose substantial species (2)—recently committed an
conservation. The country not only ranks global threats to our ability to mitigate unprecedented $14 million to reassess
first in megadiversity (1) but has one of climatic change and secure ecosystem ser- their wildlife management approach (3).
the most extensive protected area (PA) vices, and undermine attempts to achieve The province’s justifications for reform
networks (2). PAs protect biodiversity and the goals established by the Convention are laudable, including implementing
ecosystem services (3), mitigating climate on Biological Diversity (9). We urge the United Nations Declaration on the
change (4). However, a recently proposed Brazil’s legislators and decision-makers to Rights of Indigenous Peoples (4), address-
law (5) aims to repeal the legal status of turn down this unseemly proposal. ing changing societal expectations about
newly established strict PAs (which allow F. A. O. Silveira,1* M. C. Ferreira,2 L. N. wildlife, and engaging a broad spectrum
only conservation-related use) for which Perillo,2,3 F. F. Carmo,3,4 F. S. Neves2 of the public. This shift in strategy would
land ownership conflicts are not resolved 1
Departamento de Botânica, Universidade Federal mark a substantial departure from the
within 5 years of PA creation. If the law is de Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte, MG, Brazil. prevailing focus in North America, where
2
Departamento de Biologia Geral, Universidade
passed, all future PAs will be affected, as Federal de Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte, MG, Brazil. wildlife is managed primarily for hunters
well as many current PAs. The retroactive 3
Bocaina Biologia da Conservação, Belo Horizonte, (5). Drawing on the diverse perspectives,
effect of this law could compromise both MG, Brazil. 4Instituto Prístino, Belo Horizonte, MG, rights, and rich knowledge of numerous
30642-020, Brazil.
terrestrial and marine PAs, including *Corresponding author. other members of the public who also
those in the Amazon and in two biodiver- Email: faosilveira@icb.ufmg.br value wildlife—including indigenous
sity hotspots: the Cerrado and the Atlantic peoples, conservationists, scientists—
REFERENCES
Forest. In practice, the law would prevent could provide a unique opportunity
1. R. Forzza et al., Bioscience 62, 39 (2012).
the expansion of the PA network because 2. R. D. Loyola, Divers. Distrib. 20, 1365 (2014). for transformation.
PHOTO: JUNIORS BILDARCHIV GMBH/ALAMY STOCK PHOTO

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than 5 years to be fully settled in Brazil. 4. T. H. Ricketts et al., PLOS Biol. 8, e1000331 (2010). underpinnings of wildlife management
5. Lei No 3.751/2015; www.camara.gov.br/sileg/inte-
This setback has no precedent. gras/1507957.pdf [in Portuguese].
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This law is in conflict with Article 225 6. Constitution of the Federative Republic of Brazil, 3rd Measurable objectives, evidence, transpar-
of the Brazilian constitution, which states Edition (2010); http://english.tse.jus.br/arquivos/ ency, and independent review are often
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no technical experience to chair ICMBio causes revolt”
series of attacks on Brazil’s biodiversity into practice would substantially improve
(2018); www.wwf.org.br/informacoes/sala_de_
PA network (6). Such actions are at odds imprensa/?uNewsID=65682 [in Portuguese]. the rigor in BC and make the province a
with scientific evidence suggesting the 9. Convention on Biological Diversity (United Nations, 1992); model for elsewhere.
need for expanding, rather than decreas- www.cbd.int/doc/legal/cbd-en.pdf. Translating BC’s aspirations into tangible
ing, PAs (7). Recently, the nontechnical 10.1126/science.aau4222 change will require independent oversight.

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2Raincoast Conservation Foundation. will dictate whether other countries other nonconsumptive values of wildlife give marijuana legalization a chance. Milloy.3 to youth.org/Pages/ViewDetails. Artelle. Canada seeks to prevent marijuana access 10.aat7956 460 3 AUGUST 2018 • VOL 361 ISSUE 6401 sciencemag. marijuana studies. Wolfgang committees/wildlife. Crim. access.1.. inform policy because scientists encounter United Nations sanctions on Canada. Parliament of Canada. save Matthew C. Researchers should the government’s decisions. Harrigan.org/ With a substantial research budget (5). Clark. decrease the power of criminal in a migratory bird” REFERENCES organizations. D. We provide evidence that ganja experiment Canadians are forging a new path in marijuana regulation. We dis- May-22. with analyses and interpretation in our recent PHOTO: PHILIP STEFFAN/FLICKR/CC BY Canada begins a great tigate transformations instigated by the new policy could be squandered. Email: kartelle@gmail. 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DOI: 10.sciencemag. . F. O.1 REFERENCES This article cites 6 articles. S. A. L.sciencemag. 459. Washington. C. The title Science is a registered trademark of AAAS. Government Works.1126/science. F.S. Neves Science 361 (6401). DC 20005.org/content/361/6401/459.sciencemag. 1 of which you can access for free http://science. Ferreira.Brazil's protected areas under threat F.org/content/361/6401/459. Silveira. 1200 New York Avenue NW.1#BIBL PERMISSIONS http://www.sciencemag. some rights reserved. No claim to original U.org/help/reprints-and-permissions Use of this article is subject to the Terms of Service Science (print ISSN 0036-8075. Perillo. Carmo and F. 2018 ARTICLE TOOLS http://science. exclusive licensee American Association for the Advancement of Science.aau4222 Downloaded from http://science. 2017 © The Authors. online ISSN 1095-9203) is published by the American Association for the Advancement of Science. M. N.org/ on August 2.