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Aracruz Notes Unintentional Felling of Native Trees
Sao Paulo, Brazil, 26 June 2006 -- A complaint was registered on 16 June that Aracruz was clearing native forest in an area of the Jacutinga Valley. After inspecting the area in question, Aracruz confirmed that a forestry operation involving the cutting and removal of eucalyptus trees had resulted in the unintentional toppling of some surrounding native species, within a limited area of about 1 hectare, caused by the operation of the harvesting equipment and the falling eucalyptus trees.

The felling of the eucalyptus trees had been previously authorized by Ibama (Brazilian Environmental Protection Agency) to allow the natural regeneration of native species in the region.

The eucalyptus trees had originally been planted in this area by the previous landowner, before 1989, and had been duly authorized by the Brazilian Institute for Forest Development (IBDF, the predecessor of Ibama). At that time, the environmental legislation determined that the area of permanent preservation should be a 5-meter wide strip alongside water courses of less than 10 meters in width. In 1989, Law No. 7,803/89 increased this strip from 5 meters to 30 meters. This meant that the planted eucalyptus now occupied an area of permanent preservation, and required Ibama authorization for it to be felled. With the full agreement of Ibama, Aracruz therefore carried out a clearing operation to recover and preserve the area.

However, Aracruz regrets the felling of native species in the area in question and is taking a number of measures to ensure that a similar situation does not happen again and to avoid any future impact on areas of permanent preservation. This is particularly important in view of Aracruz's own policies for the protection of the environment.

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