Resource Details

What role should government regulation play in ecological restoration? Ongoing debate in São Paulo State, Brazil

Literature: Journal Articles

Aronson, J., Brancalion, P.H.S., Durigan, G., Rodrigues, R.R., Engel, V.L., Tabarelli, M., Torezan, J.M.D., Gandolfi, S., de Melo, A.C.G., Kageyama, P.Y., Marques, M.C.M., Nave, A.G., Martins, S.V., Gandara, F.B., Reis, A., Barbosa, L.M., Scarano, F.R. 2011, "What role should government regulation play in ecological restoration? Ongoing debate in São Paulo State, Brazil", Restoration Ecology, Article in press.

Contact Info

Corresponding author:


  • Centre d'Ecologie Fonctionnelle et Evolutive (CNRS-UMR 5175), 1919, Route de Mende, 34293 Montpellier, France
  • Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO 63110, USA
  • Department of Forest Sciences, University of São Paulo, ESALQ, Av. Pádua Dias 11, 13.418-900, Piracicaba, SP, Brazil
  • Forestry Institute of the State of São Paulo, Assis State Forest, PO Box 104, 19802-970, Assis, SP, Brazil
  • Department of Biological Sciences, University of São Paulo, ESALQ, Av. Pádua Dias 11, 13.418-900, Piracicaba, SP, Brazil
  • Faculty of Agronomic Sciences, Department of Natural Resources, São Paulo State University-UNESP, PO Box 237, 18603-970 Botucatu, SP, Brazil
  • Department of Botany, Federal University of Pernambuco, Av. Moraes Rego s/n, Cidade Universitária, 50670-901 Recife, PE, Brazil
  • Centre of Biological Sciences, State University of Londrina, PO Box 6001, 86.051-990 Londrina, PR, Brazil
  • Laboratório de Ecologia Vegetal, Universidade Federal do Paraná, Curitiba, Brazil
  • Department of Forestry Engineering, Federal University of Viçosa, PO Box 218, 36570-000 Viçosa, MG, Brazil
  • Department of Botany, Federal University of Santa Catarina, 88040-900, Trinidade, Florianópolis, SC, Brazil
  • Institute of Botany-State of São Paulo, Av. Miguel Stéfano, 3687, 04301-902 São Paulo, SP, Brazil
  • Conservation International, Rua Buenos Aires 68, 26 andar, cep 20070-022, Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil
  • Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, CCS, IB, Depto de Ecologia, Cx Postal 68020, cep 21041-970, Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil


Restoration Ecology

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  • This article addresses the degree of detail that should be present in legislation dealing with reforestation and restoration, and if there is a relationship between technical content/scope of regulation and success of projects.  The relationship between law and reforestation is also discussed generally.
  • In São Paulo state, SMA 08/2008 legislation establishes precise reforestation requirements, such as the use of a minimum of 80 species of native trees and the presence of specific proportions of functional groups.  This is the only existing legislation known by the authors with this degree of technical detail.
  • Supporters of this kind of legislation attest that such rules improve the outcome of reforestation projects, while opponents claim that legislation cannot impose norms based on insufficient scientific information—current understandings of reforestation processes are inadequate to enact standardized methodologies.
  • Opponents of SMA 08/2008 point out that many reforestation projects that “follow the rules” fail and that high minimum species requirements may prohibitively increase the cost of reforestation, while supporters stress that the legislation has correlated with higher levels of native species production in nurseries
  • Both supporters and critics of current legislation agree that general goals that should be attained during the reforestation process need to be included in legislation.

Related Publications and Projects

Geographical Region

  • Coastal Atlantic South America
  • Country

  • Brazil
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