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More than ever before, the administrations of presidents Lula and Dilma have strengthened the national system of protected areas through the creation, expansion and consolidation of national parks, national forests and extractive reserves.
With the Worker’s Party (PT) at the helm of the federal government, extractivism – the sustainable use of natural resources by peoples who live in the forest – was recognized, protected and promoted.
Over the span of President Lula’s eight years in office, Brazil set a record number of hectares as protected areas. According to data from the Socio-Environmental Institute (ISA) and the Chico Mendes Institute for Biodiversity Conservation (ICMBIO), President Lula brought about the protection of 26.7 million hectares, increasing the Brazil’s protected areas by 52.9%.
In 2014, President Dilma allocated for environmental preservation over 3 million hectares – in the states of Acre, Amazonas, Pará and Rondônia – through the Programa Terra Legal Amazônia (Amazon Legal Lands Program). These were added to the nearly 1 million hectares that had been set aside in the state of Amazonas in 2013.
The lands were placed in the care of Brazil’s Ministry for the Environment (MMA), which will create new protected areas, as well as new areas for sustainable forestry.
The Dilma administration has advanced the effective implementation of Protected Areas (UCs) through three priority lines of action:
President Dilma also approved the 3rd phase of the Protected Amazon Areas Program (ARPA), under which Brazil has committed itself to the goal of having 60 million hectares of protected areas by 2025, as well as securing US$ 215 million in funding.