Previous Page Table of Contents Next Page

The southern region of Brazil

Presented by the States of São Paulo, Paraná, Santa Catarina, and Río Grande do SuI

REPRESENTATIVES of state governments, of labor organizations, of public service enterprises, and of the forestry technicians of the Southern Region of Brazil met as a separate commission and submitted the following report to the Brazilian delegation.



1. In view of the feet that the production authorized has always corresponded to the requirements for domestic consumption and exports permitted to foreign countries, the Commission recommends that no increase in production be authorized unless efficient means of transport and concrete orders from foreign markets for supplies in excess of domestic consumption have previously been secured.

2. Since the production of the sawmills now operated is limited to between 25 and 50 percent of their full capacity, the Commission recommends that no permission be given for the construction of new sawmills until it has become possible to eliminate the system of restricted production.

Limits in Utilization

In view of the data which our Commission has at its disposal, it is possible to hope that the exports of wood from the Southern Region of Brazil may attain the following figures beginning with 1949, if the steps which have been recommended are adopted:



Sawn timber


Processed wood


Veneer and plywood




Sawn timber


Processed wood


The Commission, taking into account domestic consumption requirements and existing stock piles, believes that the country can export the following quantities and volumes in 1948.



Sawn timber


Processed wood


Veneer and plywood




Sawn timber


Processed wood


Prefabricated Houses

A new industry for the utilization of pine is being developed in Brazil, the prefabricated house industry. To be suitable for this purpose the pine wood has to be properly treated.

During the current year the southern zone should be able to export about 10,000 houses, and for the year 1949 it will be able to export approximately 50,000 houses.

Measures for Reaching Production Targets

In order to achieve the proposed expansion, the Commission considers necessary the adoption of certain measures with reference to matters of transportation and finance.

1. Transportation:

(a) Improvement of the present railroads, including tracks, rolling stock, and locomotive power;
(b) Adaptation of the highways to large-scale traffic;
(c) Acquisition of trucks and guarantee that there will be no lack of fuel (gasoline and petroleum);
(d) Improvement of transportation and construction of adequate warehouses;
(e) Assured maritime transportation to foreign countries in order to prevent the accumulation of stockpiles and their subsequent deterioration.

2. Finance:

In a country such as Brazil where there are considerable difficulties to be faced, where distances are enormous, where the means of transportation are unreliable and inadequate as well as expensive, and where the wood produced never reaches the consumer markets until about two years after its cutting and processing (due to the great delay in processing freight car requisitions), it is impossible to carry on wood production without making credits available.

The present restrictions on bank credits for industry and commerce, the high rates of interest, the enforced prohibition of export to the European, Asiatic, and African markets as a result of the suspension of the purchase of pounds sterling, the depression of the domestic market, and the competition which arises in the only foreign market accessible at the present time (Argentina), are the factors that have brought the Brazilian wood industry to the present serious crisis. Unless this situation is immediately dealt with intelligently and firmly, it will ruin one of the mainstays of the national economy, transforming into junk heaps this magnificent and valuable industry built up by overcoming all difficulties and on which the economy of the southern States is based.

Consequently, in order to achieve any expansion whatsover, in order to protect the wood industry, in the interest of the States themselves, it is advisable to lay the foundation of favorable conditions for the exportation of wood and for the granting of credit or the financing of sawmills, wood industries, and wood exports.

For this purpose it is necessary to draw up a simple plan that can be carried out with the full guarantee of a financial agency, which might be the Instituto Nacional do Pinho (National Pine Institute), as this has at its disposal land and financial resources adequate, in the opinion of the Commission, to start such operations. The Bank of Brazil would give its financial support in case the resources of the INP are insufficient.

Sawmill owners should be financed on the basis of their plants and the supplies of pine and other commercial species such as cinnamon and cedar on their property. They would liquidate their debts in monthly installments against the delivery of official permits authorizing production.

The industrialist (the manufacturer of boxes, plywood, etc.) and the exporter should receive 50 percent of the value of the wood which they have in stock, liquidating their debts in proportion to the shipments authorized by the National Pine Institute, which is the controlling agency in wood industry and trade and which is adequately equipped to perform this function.

However, no matter what may be the method of financing decided upon, it is certain that without transportation and financing, mill-owners and industrialists will not be in a position to increase their production but will be obliged to reduce production even below its present very low level.

It is, therefore, urged that the public authorities do not allow our wood industry to be completely abandoned and to fall into ruin. That would be fatal both to the economy of the southern States and the living standards of a great portion of the population and, as is well known, very serious consequences would result for the social order and welfare of the nation.

Exploitation of Coastal Forests

There also exists the possibility of the exploitation of the coastal forests, which are rich in hardwoods. For such exploitation purposes, the country needs:

1. Health services in the coastal regions, principally in the zones most easily accessible to exploitation. Such a provision is essential.

2. Permission to construct new sawmills in this region according to the most highly recommended technical methods.

3. The rational exploitation of forest lands with due regard and obedience to the regulations of the Forest Code.

4. The financing of industrialists as recommended above.

The exploitation of such forests would have the advantage of facilitating the transportation of processed wood to the ports of embarkation.


In view of various types of projects which were suggested by its members, in particular the contributions of the representatives of the State Forestry Service of São Paulo and of the Soroabana Railway Company, together with supplementary measures which may be necessary for larger-scale utilization of materials, the Commission thought it appropriate to adopt the following objectives:

1. To establish proper management in tile exploitation of existing forests in the Southern Region with a view to achieving the maximum yield considered economically-sound without endangering their reforestation.

2. To reforest the areas which have already been exploited and which may be the basis for the development of a wood industry in the future.

3. To recommend measures of fire control.

Once the existing forest capital of the Southern Region has been satisfactorily assessed and efficient measures have been adopted to manage properly the extraction of wood and reforestation, it will still not be advisable to permit the installation of very large sawmills even in the event of a great expansion in sales of wood abroad which would make it possible to do away with the present system of limitations. This measure is intended to prevent the rapid exhaustion of the forest reserves of the country, which would obviously harm the national economy in the future.

The Commission approves entirely the results of the Latin-American Conference on Forestry and Forest Products as regards the rational exploitation of forests, their protection, and the measures which will accelerate the recuperation and reforestation of those areas which have been exploited. It further believes that these resolutions should be carefully examined by the Brazilian Government so that the recommendations of the Conference may serve as a basis for the reform of the Forest Code, now being studied, and so that this Code may be put into effect.

In consideration of the statements of its members, the Commission is aware that experience has already demonstrated the infeasibility, principally from the technical point of view with reference to the conservation of stands, of the reforestation of the country solely on the basis of private initiative. It recommends also that the National Pine Institute and the Forest Services, both Federal and State, should jointly undertake reforestation work. As for the replacement of trees felled by timber industrialists, the Commission recommends that it shall be incumbent upon the INP to supervise this work, delegating to it the powers of these industrialists as required by the relevant provisions of the Forest Code.

Moreover, the Commission recommends that the Federal and State Governments shall study the existing forest formations of the Southern Region for the purpose of establishing forest reserves intended for the conservation of the local flora and fauna. The Commission notes also that it is of prime importance in commercial transactions to initiate a listing of forest species on the basis of the specifications of the Institute of Technical Research of the State of São Paulo.

Aside from the recommendations mentioned above in this report, the Commission resolved unanimously to submit to the consideration of the Brazilian delegation the following proposals:

1 Creation of forest institutes and technical courses for forest foremen and laborers;

2 Installation of adequate wood-processing plants for the drying and impregnating of wood in suitable localities;

3. Adoption of adequate measures for spreading knowledge of the use of appropriately treated woods, for the purpose of the preservation of railroad ties and posts intended for use on the railways and public service facilities.

4. Installation and maintenance of a publications office and creation of an international Latin-American Library on Forestry and Forest Products in charge of the National Pine Institute.

In concluding the present report of the work of the Commission of the Southern Region of Brazil, the members stress the fact that in the report submitted, only the most essential points have been treated, but that it is necessary for consideration to be given also to details contained in the documents accompanying the report.

Commission II meets to deal with the problems of forest management and forest administration.

Previous Page Top of Page Next Page