The Legal Amazon corresponds to the area under the responsibility of the Superintendence of the Amazon Development – SUDAM established by Article 2 of Complementary Law no. 124, of 03/01/2007. The region is formed by the states of Acre, Amapá, Amazonas, Pará, Rondônia, Roraima, Tocantins and Mato Grosso, and also by the municipalities of the state of Maranhão located west of the 44th meridian. It has an approximate area of 5 217 423 km², which corresponds to about 61% of the Brazilian territory.
About the publication - 2014
The term Legal Amazon was incorporated only in the latest laws, as in the Law no.11.952, of June 25, 2009, and the Forest Code (Law no. 12,651, of May 25, 2012), and it is not explicitly stated in the Laws that defined the Brazilian Amazon for public policy purposes in the previous decades. The use of the adjective “Legal” is due to the necessity of distinguishing the division defined by the Law and the Amazon division defined by the biome and the river basin, as well the International Amazon. The statement of the Legal Amazon region is one of the Union competences, which, as established in the Article 43 of the Federal Constitution, can articulate its activities in the same geoeconomic and social complex, aiming at its development and the a the reduction of social inequalities. Regarding that, the Legal Amazon was established with the purpose of defining the geographic boundaries delimitation of the political region that receives tax incentive to promote its regional development.
The Legal Amazon is divided in two parts: the Western Amazon, which consists of Amazônia, Acre, Rondônia and Roraima, and the Eastern Amazon, which consists, by exclusion, of Pará, Maranhão, Amapá, Tocantins, and Mato Grosso. The Western Amazon was mentioned, for the first time, in Law no. 291, of February 28, 1967, and ratified in oLaw no. 356, of August 15, 1968.
The Legal definition of the Brazilian Amazon has always been associated to the emergence of public agencies and the implementation of governmental agencies. The first definition was in 1953, established by Law 1.806, of June 6, 1953, which created the Superintendency of the Economic Valorization Plan of Amazon (SPVEA) and established its operation area, covering the regions of Pará and Amazonas; the Federal Territories of Acre, Amapá, Guaporé and Rio Branco; and also part of the state of Mato Grosso located at the parallel 16º N, part of the state of Goiás located at the parallel 13º N, and part of the state of Maranhão located at meridian 44º W. It was a geopolitical construction that aimed at defining an area to apply territorial and economic policies including the north side of the Brazilian territory in the country’s socioeconomic structure, to ensure its sovereignty over the whole territory.
In the 1960s, changes in the Brazilian territorial planning led to the SPVEA extinction and its replacement by the Superintendency for the Development of Amazonia – SUDAM, agency which become responsible for the implementation of the Economic Recovery Plan of the Amazon. The wording of Law no. 5,173, of October 27, 1966, however, maintained the Amazon area defined by the Law no. 1,806, of January 06, 1953.
The Amazon area and, consequently, the SUDAM participation remained unchanged until 1977, when the state of Mato Grosso do Sul was created. The Complementary Law no. 31, of October 11, 1977, extended the Amazon boundaries beyond the parallel 16º N, matching the boundaries between the state of Mato Grosso and Mato Grosso do Sul.
The Legal Amazon boundaries were not changed with the promulgation of the Federal Constitution, which created the state of Tocantins. Those boundaries would just change in 2001, when the Provisional Measure no. 2,146-1, of May 5, 2001, extinguished SUDAM and created the Amazon Development Agency – ADA. The boundary represented in the parallel 13º N, effective until then, was replaced with the boundary between Goiás and Tocantins. The same change was also amended by the Provisional Measure no. 2,157-5, of August 24, 2001. The Complementary Law no. 124, of January 3, 2007, which recreated SUDAM, established, as its operation area, the same area defined in the Provisional Measure no. 2,146-1 and 2,157-5/2001.
More on the product - 2014
Is the IBGE responsible for the Legal Amazon delimitation?
No. The Legal Amazon was established by Law and the Superintendence of the Amazon Development – SUDAM is responsible for any alteration in its limits.
Why does the IBGE release the Legal Amazon as a geographic subdivision?
The IBGE's aim is to release geographic subdivisions that are relevant for statistical dissemination, planning and for public and private investment. The main objective is the identification of Brazil's political administrative units located in the area defined as Legal Amazon, which require specific management due to their climatic characteristics.
Which is the frequency of Legal Amazon updating?
Legal Amazon, as a legal subdivision, will only have its delimitation updated when there is a legislative or normative update of these subdivisions. There may be updates related to the Territorial Division of Brazil that can impact on the states and municipalities limits and nomenclature.
Where can I obtain more information about the Legal Amazon?
It is possible to get more information on the SUDAM website (http://www.sudam.gov.br/), or from studies released by the IBGE, such as the Natural Resources Geostatistics of the Legal Amazon (https://biblioteca.ibge.gov.br/index.php/biblioteca-catalogo?view=detalhes&id=249694).
What are the legislations regarding the Legal Amazon?
The legislations can be consulted on the SUDAM website (http://www.sudam.gov.br/index.php/quem-e-quem/58-acesso-a-informacao/86-legislacao-da-amazonia).
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Art.2 The Brazilian Amazon, for the purpose of economic planning and execution of the plan stated in this law, encompasses the area covered by the states of Pará and Amazonas, by the fedral territories of Acre, Amapá, Guaporé and Rio Branco, and also, by part of the state of Mato Grosso to the 16th parallel North, and part of the state of Goiás to the 13th parallel North and of Maranhão to the 44th Meridian west.
Art. 2 The Amazon, for the purposes of this law, encompasses the area encompassed by the States of Acre, Pará and Amazonas, by the Federal Territories of Amapá, Roraima and Rondônia, and also by the areas in the state of Mato Grosso the 16th parallel North, of the state of Goiás to the 13th parallel North and of Maranhão to the 44th Meridian west.
Art. 45 The Amazon, referred to in Article 2 of Law no. 5.173, of October 27, de 1966, also encompasses all the area of the state of Mato Grosso.
It creates the Agencies for Development of the Amazon and the Northeast Region, extinguishes the Superintendence for Development of the Amazon - SUDAM and the Superintendence for Development of the Northeast Region - SUDENE, and makes other provisions.
It creates, in conformity with Article 43 of the Federal Constitution, the Superintendence for Development of the Amazon – SUDAM; establishes its composition, legal nature, objectives, area of coverage and action tools; it deals with the Fund for Development of the Amazon – FDA; alters Provisional Measure no. 2,157-5, of August 24th, 2001; revokes Complementary Law no. 67, of June 13, 1991; and makes other provisions.