Deforestation in Brazil Revealing pathways to keep more trees standing

In the past decade, fines, penalties and formal commitments to comply with environmental regulations have helped drastically reduce the rate at which Brazil’s Amazon forests are cleared. However, with that rate no longer dropping, reaching Brazil’s target annual forest loss – roughly three quarters of the current level – may require complementary approaches that address different landholders’ needs and expectations.

CIFOR scientist Pablo Pacheco argues that a more in-depth understanding of who is still cutting down forest, and by how much, could help to refine policy approaches.

He and a group of experts analyzed data from INPE and IBGE that highlights how different actors, from smallholders to large-scale cattle ranchers, have responded to Brazil’s shift in policies and changes in market conditions in different ways. Findings show that each actors’ relative share of deforestation has changed over time, pointing to the need to consider new approaches to support continued deforestation slow-down.