Forest ownership in Brazil
Forests can be publicly or privately owned. Public lands subject to forest management are covered with natural forests (there is no plantation management on public lands) and can be carried out by private companies or by traditional communities. The management of natural forests may also occur on private land. Around 60% of the forest area in Brazil has been identified as “Permanent Forest Estate” (PFE) (ITTO, 2011). PFE is defined as: Land, whether public or private, secured by law and kept under permanent forest cover. This includes land for the production of timber and other forest products, for the protection of soil and water, and for the conservation of biological diversity, as well as land intended to fulfil a combination of these functions. Forest area that is not classified as PFE is open for conversion to other land uses. The PFE area is roughly divided into Production and Protection areas. The Production PFE is separated into:
- FLONAs (loresta nacional (national forest) – type of conservation units),
- extractive reserves,
- sustainable development reserves,
- legal reserves and permanent preservation areas on private land.
In general, Protection PFE is forest inside designated protected areas, where timber production and other forms of resource exploitation such as mining and commercial hunting are prohibited. Protection PFE in Brazil includes: units of integral protection (federal and state) and indigenous lands.