Resource Details

On the need of legal frameworks for assessing restoration projects success: New perspectives from Sao Paulo state (Brazil)

Literature: Journal Articles

Chaves, R.B., Durigan, G., Brancalion, P.H.S., and J. Aronson. 2015. On the need of legal frameworks for assessing restoration projects success: New perspectives from Sao Paulo state (Brazil). Restoration Ecology 23(6): 754-759.

Contact Info



a) Secretariat for the Environment of the State of Sao Paulo, Centro de Restauracao Ecologica, Sao Paulo, Brazil

b) Assis State Forest, Forestry Institute of the state of Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo, Brazil

c) Department of Forest Sciences, University of Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo, Brazil

d) Centre d'Ecologie Fonctionnelle et Evolutive, Montpellier, France

e) Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO, USA 



  • This policy article describes a legal framework that Sao Paulo state of Brazil enacted to promote ecosystem restoration projects on private lands through it's “New Forest Code” in 2012.
  • Landowners are required to register their lands in an online registry, prove compliance with legally mandated minimum vegetation cover levels, and institute restoration projects if not in compliance, though defensible definitions of “restored” ecosystems are not given.
  • To support the provisions of the New Forest Code, a framework identifying three core indicators (i. percent vegetation cover, ii. density of native saplings, and iii. number of regenerating species) was established under the assumption that a “restored” ecosystem is one who's natural ability to recover from disturbance has been restored.
  • Protocols on monitoring have been released, as well as a standardized time-frame of 20 years in which projects are expected to achieve an “intermediate” classification across all three indicators, or else a penalty and redesign of the restoration project is required.
  • Although the framework is novel in it's legal backing, there remain substantial challenges related to institution of projects and monitoring progress as the reporting of restoration objectives/projects is expected to occur voluntarily by private landholders.    

Geographical Region

  • Amazon Basin
  • Ecosystems

  • Tropical Wet Forest
  • Country

  • Brazil
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