The Brazilian Institute for the Environment and Renewable Natural Resources (IBAMA) released an official note on March 3, 2022, announcing that it has begun the "Terra Brasilis Operation," a program to inspect the use of Brazil's biodiversity.

According to IBAMA, this program is focused on determining which companies access genetic heritage and associated traditional knowledge and which companies economically exploit products derived from such access. The goal is to deter infractions, guarantee benefit sharing and increase conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity, as provided in Law No. 13,123/2015 and in Decree No. 8,772/2016.

The Terra Brasilis Operation is aligned with the Nagoya Protocol, an international agreement aiming to regulate access to genetic heritage and benefit sharing, which was signed in 2010 during the Conference of Parties (COP10), as part of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) held in Nagoya, and ratified by Brazil in 2021. As important advances in the regulation of biodiversity use are expected at COP15, which will take place in China this year, the implementation of the Terra Brasilis Operation is timely.

It is worth mentioning that the improper use of biodiversity may result in fines of up to BRL 10,000,000.00, temporary suspension of activity, embargo, partial or total interdiction, criminal charges and the obligation to repair social and environmental damages.

The Environmental Team of Tauil & Chequer Advogados in association with Mayer Brown is available for further clarification.

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