Brazil's forests

ByRhett A. Butler[Last update August 14, 2020]

Brazil holds about one-third of the world's remaining primarytropical rainforests, including about 60% theAmazon rainforest. Terrestrially speaking, it is also the most biodiverse country on Earth, with more than 34,000 described species of plants, 1,813 species of birds, 1,022 amphibians, 648 mammals, and 814 reptiles.

About 80% of Brazil's tropical forest cover is found in the Amazon Basin, a mosaic of ecosystems and vegetation types including rainforests (the vast majority), seasonal forests, deciduous forests, flooded forests, and savannas, including the woodycerrado. This region has experienced an exceptional extent of forest loss over the past two generations—an area exceeding 760,000 square kilometers, or about 19 percent of its total surface area of 4 million square kilometers, has been cleared in the Amazon since 1970, when only 2.4 percent of the Amazon's forests had been lost. The increase in Amazon deforestation in the early 1970s coincided with the construction of the Trans-Amazonian Highway, which opened large forest areas to development by settlers and commercial interests. In more recent years, growing populations in the Amazon region, combined with increased viability of agricultural operations, have caused a further rise in deforestation rates.

Natural forest in the Brazilian Amazon (Amazonia) by year

This data excludes extensive areas degraded by fires and selective logging, nor forest regrowth, which by one Brazilian government estimate occurs on about 20% of deforested areas. The area of Amazon forest degraded each year in Brazil is thought to be roughly equivalent to the amount of forest cleared. Forest degradation is significant because degraded forests are more likely to be cleared in the future. Degraded forest is also more susceptible to fires.

Why is the Amazon rainforest disappearing?

Historically the majority of deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon was the product of subsistence farmers, but in recent decades this has changed, with a greater proportion of forest clearing driven by large landowners and corporations. The majority of deforestation in the region can be attributed to land clearing for pasture by commercial and speculative interests.

In the early phase of this transition, Brazilian deforestation was strongly correlated to the economic health of the country: the decline in deforestation from 1988-1991 nicely matched the economic slowdown during the same period, while the rocketing rate of deforestation from 1993-1998 paralleled Brazil's period of rapid economic growth. During lean times, ranchers and developers do not have the cash to expand their pasturelands and operations, while the government lacks the budget flexibility to underwrite highways and colonization programs and grant tax breaks and subsidies to agribusiness, logging, and mining interests.

But this dynamic shifted in the mid-2000s, when the link between deforestation and the broader Brazilian economy began to wane. Between 2004 and 2012 the annual rate of deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon fell 80% to the lowest levels recorded since annual record keeping began in the late 1980s. This decline occurred at the same time that Brazil's economy expanded 40 percent and agricultural output surged.

Tree cover loss and primary forest loss in the Brazilian Amazon according to analysis of satellite data by Hansen et al 2020
Comparison of data on deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon, 2001-2019, between official Brazilian government data and Hansen et al 2020.

Why did Amazon deforestation decline?

有几个原因经常被引用为decline in Brazil's deforestation rate between 2004 and 2012.

One of the most important active measures was the launch of the Action Plan for the Prevention and Control of Deforestation in the Legal Amazon (PPCDAm) in 2004. PPCDAm aimed to reduce deforestation rates continuously and facilitate conditions that support a transition towards a sustainable economic development model in the region. PPCDAm had three main components: land tenure and spatial planning, environmental monitoring and control, and supporting sustainable production.

这些组件导致增加执法of environmental laws; improved forest monitoring by satellite, which enabled law enforcement to take action; new incentives for utilizing already deforested lands; and expanded protected areas and indigenous reserves. A byproduct of PPCDAm was heightened sensitivity to environmental criticism among private sector companies and emerging awareness of the values of ecosystem services afforded by the Amazon.

Other factors also played a part in the decline in deforestation, including macroeconomic trends like a stronger Brazilian currency, which reduced the profitability of export-driven agriculture; prioritization of non-rainforest areas like the adjacentcerradoecosystem for agribusiness expansion; and increased diversification in the Brazilian economy as a whole.

在巴西亚马逊雨林。Photo by Rhett A. Butler

Why has progress in reducing Amazon deforestation stalled?

Progress in reducing deforestation stalled after 2012 and forest loss has been trending upward since. There is debate over why this is the case, but some researchers argue that Brazil achieved about as much as it could through law enforcement and other punitive measures ("the stick" in the proverbial "the carrot and stick" approach). Reducing deforestation further requires sufficient economic incentives ("the carrot") to maintain forests as healthy and productive ecosystems. Put another way, standing forest needs to be made more valuable than clearing it for pasture or crops.

By that line of thought, the political impetus for reducing deforestation began to wane as ranchers, farmers, investors, and land speculators grew tried of fines, threats of legal action, and prohibitions against clearing. Political movements like the ruralistas pushed harder for relation of environmental laws and amnesty for past transgressions. These interests gained momentum when the Temer administration came to power in 2016 and won more clout with the election of Jair Bolsonaro in late 2018. Bolsonaro, who campaigned on the promise to open the Amazon to extractive industries and agribusiness while disparaging environmentalists and indigenous peoples, immediately set about dismantling protections for the Amazon when he took office in January 2019. Deforestation increased sharply thereafter.

Causes of deforestation in the Amazon

In evaluating deforestation in the Amazon, it is important to understand both direct and indirect drivers of forest loss.

Direct drivers of deforestation including conversion of forests for pasture, farmland, and plantations, as well as surface mining, dams that inundate forested areas, and intense fires.

Indirect drivers of deforestation include more subtle factors, like insecure land tenure, corruption, poor law enforcement, infrastructure projects, policies that favor conversion over conservation, and selective logging that create conditions or enable activities that facilitate forest clearing.

Pie chart showing drivers of deforestation in the Amazon
Causes of deforestation in the Amazon, 2001-2013 Share of direct deforestation
Cattle ranching 63%
Small-scale agriculture
Includes both subsistence and commercial
12%
Fires
Sub-canopy火灾经常导致德gradation, not deforestation
9%
Agriculture
Large-scale industrial agriculture like soy and plantations
8%
Logging
Selective logging commonly results in degradation, not deforestation
6%
Other
Mining, urbanization, road construction, dams, etc.
2%

Cattle ranching

Conversion of rainforest for cattle pasture is the single largest driver of deforestation in Brazil. Clearing forest for pasture is the cheapest and easiest way to establish an informal claim to land, which can then be sold on to other parties at a profit. In some parts of the Brazilian Amazon, cleared rainforest land can be worth more than eight times that of land with standing forest. According, cattle ranching is often viewed as a way to speculate on appreciating land prices.

However since 2000, cattle ranching in the Amazon has become increasingly industrialized, meaning that more ranchers are producing cattle to sell commercially. Most of the beef ends up in the domestic market, but secondary products like hides and leather are often exported.

These exports left Brazilian cattle ranchers exposed in the late 2000s whenGreenpeace launched a high profile campaign against companiesthat were sourcing leather and other products from major Brazilian cattle processors. That campaign led major companies to demand zero deforestation cattle. Combined with a crackdown by public prosecutors, the Brazilian cattle industry started to shift substantially toward less damaging practices in late 2009 by signing the "Cattle Agreement", which barred the sourcing of cattle from illegally deforested areas.

However by the mid-2010s investigations revealed that some major cattle producers were circumventing the safeguards established under the Cattle Agreement by laundering cattle through third party ranches. Unlike soy (see below), cattle are highly mobile, making it easy for ranchers to shift livestock clandestinely.

Deforestation for soy in the Brazilian Amazon. The isolated tree is a Brazil nut. Photo by Rhett A. Butler

Soy

巴西养牛业mov的模型e toward zero deforestation came from the country's soy industry, which underwent a similar transformation three years earlier. That shift was also initiative by a Greenpeace campaign, which targeted the soy-based chicken feed used by McDonald's in Europe. Within months of that campaign's launch, the largest soy crushers and traders in the Amazon had established a moratorium on buying soy produced via deforestation in the Amazon.

Timber

Logging in the Brazilian Amazon remains plagued by poor management, destructive practices, and outright fraud. Vast areas of rainforest are logged -- legally and illegally -- each year. According to government sources and NGOs, the vast majority of logging in the Brazilian Amazon is illegal.

Palm oil

At present, Amazon palm oil is not a major driver of deforestation in Brazil. While there are concerns that it could eventually exacerbate deforestation, there is also a chance that it could replace degraded cattle pasture,boosting economic productivity at a low environmental cost.

Dams, roads, and other infrastructure projects

Brazil's infrastructure spree from the late-2000s to mid-2010s was interrupted by the corruption scandals of the mid-2010s. Many of the scores of dams being built across the Amazon basin were put on hold following the Lava Jato scandal that ensnared senior politicians in several countries and executives at the infrastructure giant Odebrecht. Yet the scandals also helped usher in the presidency of Jair Bolsonaro, which reinvigorated the push to build roads, dams, and mines in the Amazon.

在巴西亚马逊雨林。Photo by Rhett A. Butler

Conservation in Brazil

While Brazil may be better known for losing its forests, during the 2000s it easily led the world in establishing new protected areas. Those gains were consolidated in 2014, when donors established a trust fund that will underwrite the country's protected areas system through 2039.

Beyond strict protected areas, more than a fifth of the Brazilian Amazon lies within indigenous reservations, which research has shown reduce deforestation even more effectively than national parks. Overall nearly half the Brazilian Amazon is under some form of protection.

Brazil's other forests

While the Amazon rainforest is Brazil's most famous forest, the country also has other types of forest.

TheMata Atlânticaor Atlantic Forest is a drier tropical forest that lies along the coast and inland areas to the south of the Amazon. It has been greatly reduced by conversion to agriculture -- especially sugar cane and cattle pasture -- and urbanization. The Mata Atlântica is arguably Brazil's most threatened forest.

Forest loss in Brazil's Mata Atlantica according to National Space Research Institute, INPE

The Pantanal is an inland wetland that borders Paraguay and Bolivia and covers an area of 154,884 square kilometers. It includes a mosaic of forests and flooded grasslands.

Thecerradobiome is a tropical grassland that covers 1.9 square kilometers, or approximately 22 percent of the country. It is being rapidly destroyed for agriculture.

Thechacobiome is a dry forest ecosystem that extends into Paraguay, Bolivia, and Argentina.

Brazil's tropical forests

Primary forest extent Tree cover extent
State Dominant forest biome 2001 2020 % losss 2001 2020 % losss
Acre Amazon 13,505,690 12,583,418 6.8% 14312070 13429378 8.1%
Alagoas Atlantic forest 35,537 34,933 1.7% 575518 510792 11.4%
Amapá Amazon 10,934,645 10,792,268 1.3% 12172480 12188735 2.5%
Amazonas Amazon 143,485,183 141,217,483 1.6% 150568005 148269045 2.0%
Bahia Atlantic forest 1,297,702 1,187,347 8.5% 18776622 15187737 16.5%
Ceará Atlantic forest 74,395 72,501 2.5% 2974477 2807127 10.0%
Espírito Santo Atlantic forest 128,492 124,406 3.2% 1813455 1675599 18.8%
Goiás Atlantic forest / Cerrado 388,506 328,329 15.5% 7736542 6808163 13.3%
Maranhão Amazon 3,185,732 2,483,153 22.1% 21015443 16391556 23.0%
Mato Grosso Amazon / Cerrado / Chaco 39,009,645 31,696,953 18.7% 56396228 46168150 18.7%
Mato Grosso do Sul Atlantic forest / Cerrado 1,489,095 1,356,717 8.9% 10191243 8761953 12.6%
Minas Gerais Atlantic forest / Cerrado 268,244 258,688 3.6% 18357422 17450082 14.0%
Pará Amazon 92,225,896 83,576,973 9.4% 107963717 97013464 12.4%
帕拉伊巴 Atlantic forest 23,764 23,512 1.1% 1121482 663263 9.6%
Paraná Atlantic forest 1,044,881 1,020,253 2.4% 7947474 7340170 14.1%
Pernambuco Atlantic forest 42,727 41,001 4.0% 1563136 1258759 10.7%
Piauí Caatinga 141,286 139,785 1.1% 11538381 9300063 10.3%
里约热内卢-里约热内卢 Atlantic forest 587,724 581,363 1.1% 1805398 1737922 3.8%
Rio Grande do Norte Atlantic forest 7,321 7,287 0.5% 909432 491106 11.0%
Rio Grande do Sul Atlantic forest / Cerrado 24,166 24,146 0.1% 7636112 7393665 8.1%
Rondônia Amazon 15,649,578 12,470,563 20.3% 18485579 14908779 21.7%
Roraima Amazon 15,425,759 14,683,738 4.8% 17889964 17075836 5.7%
Santa Catarina Atlantic forest 1,205,590 1,176,014 2.5% 6354636 6031580 12.2%
São Paulo Atlantic forest 1,837,321 1,817,095 1.1% 6560955 6469004 12.1%
Sergipe Atlantic forest 17,940 16,670 7.1% 543591 395722 21.5%
Tocantins Amazon / Cerrado 1,194,996 995,671 16.7% 11162164 8459972 16.1%

Recent news on Brazil's tropical forests

New online map tracks threats to uncontacted Indigenous peoples in Brazil’s Amazon(Sep 27 2023)
- Mobi, a new online interactive map, draws information from public databases, government statistics and field observations to paint a comprehensive picture of the threats that uncontacted Indigenous peoples face in the Brazilian Amazon.
- The exact location of uncontacted communities is deliberately displaced on the map to avoid any subsequent attacks against them from those who engage in illegal activity in or near their territories.
- The tool can help Indigenous agencies deploy more effective protective actions to fend off threats such as diseases and environmental destruction, which can wipe out vulnerable populations.
- Activists hope the platform will help create a vulnerability index that ranks uncontacted populations according to the severity of threats against them, which can promote stronger public policies.

Infrastructure in the Pan Amazon: Public-private partnerships(Sep 27 2023)
- Mongabay has begun publishing a new edition of the book, “A Perfect Storm in the Amazon,” in short installments and in three languages: Spanish, English and Portuguese.
- Author Timothy J. Killeen is an academic and expert who, since the 1980s, has studied the rainforests of Brazil and Bolivia, where he lived for more than 35 years.
- Chronicling the efforts of nine Amazonian countries to curb deforestation, this edition provides an overview of the topics most relevant to the conservation of the region’s biodiversity, ecosystem services and Indigenous cultures, as well as a description of the conventional and sustainable development models that are vying for space within the regional economy.
- Click the “A Perfect Storm in the Amazon” link atop this page to see chapters 1-13 as they are published during 2023.

Infrastructure in the Pan Amazon – Finance: What is new and what is not(2023年9月26日)
- Mongabay has begun publishing a new edition of the book, “A Perfect Storm in the Amazon,” in short installments and in three languages: Spanish, English and Portuguese.
- Author Timothy J. Killeen is an academic and expert who, since the 1980s, has studied the rainforests of Brazil and Bolivia, where he lived for more than 35 years.
- Chronicling the efforts of nine Amazonian countries to curb deforestation, this edition provides an overview of the topics most relevant to the conservation of the region’s biodiversity, ecosystem services and Indigenous cultures, as well as a description of the conventional and sustainable development models that are vying for space within the regional economy.
- Click the “A Perfect Storm in the Amazon” link atop this page to see chapters 1-13 as they are published during 2023.

How Canada’s growing presence in Latin America is hurting the environment(Sep 22 2023)
- Canada is up for a periodic U.N. review of its environmental and human rights record in Latin America, and activist groups want to make sure the country is held accountable for lacking regulations and oversight.
- The country is a leader in mining and oil investment in the region but doesn’t do enough to protect against deforestation, pollution and human rights violations against local communities, according to a series of reports published by activist organizations.
- The organizations said Canada should implement new regulations to protect environmental defenders and sign onto ILO Convention 169.

Infrastructure in the Pan Amazon: Railroad development(Sep 21 2023)
- Mongabay has begun publishing a new edition of the book, “A Perfect Storm in the Amazon,” in short installments and in three languages: Spanish, English and Portuguese.
- Author Timothy J. Killeen is an academic and expert who, since the 1980s, has studied the rainforests of Brazil and Bolivia, where he lived for more than 35 years.
- Chronicling the efforts of nine Amazonian countries to curb deforestation, this edition provides an overview of the topics most relevant to the conservation of the region’s biodiversity, ecosystem services and Indigenous cultures, as well as a description of the conventional and sustainable development models that are vying for space within the regional economy.
- Click the “A Perfect Storm in the Amazon” link atop this page to see chapters 1-13 as they are published during 2023.

EU bill and new green policies spur progress on Brazil’s cattle tracking(Sep 21 2023)
- Brazilian banks have created new rules for releasing credit to meatpackers and slaughterhouses in Amazonian states in which their clients must implement traceability and monitoring systems by 2025 to show that their cattle didn’t come from illegal deforestation.
- Even the powerful Brazilian Agriculture and Livestock Confederation (CNA) recognizes the cattle tracking demand and proposes a traceability model to the federal government.
- A new study shows that existing cattle companies’ zero-deforestation commitments have reduced Brazilian Amazon deforestation by 15% and that the devastation could be halved by scaling up the implementation of supply chain policies.
- The ideal animal tracking model is individual, but experts defend a middle-of-the-road solution to reduce illegal deforestation based on cross-referencing from inter-ranch cattle transport data and the Rural Environmental Registry (CAR).

‘Lost’ Brazilian holly tree species found again after nearly 200 years(Sep 21 2023)
- After nearly 200 years without a confirmed sighting, a rare Brazilian tree species called the Pernambuco holly has been found in northeastern Brazil.
- The team located four trees, two male and two female, in a forest fragment near a sugarcane plantation in the metropolitan region of the city of Recife.
- The trees live in an area that was once Atlantic Forest, but now less than 7% of its original forest biome remains, mostly in small fragments.
- Researchers plan to search for more trees, protect the rediscovered site, and collect seeds for germination, but say these efforts will be costly.

Infrastructure in the Pan Amazon: Waterway options(Sep 20 2023)
- Mongabay has begun publishing a new edition of the book, “A Perfect Storm in the Amazon,” in short installments and in three languages: Spanish, English and Portuguese.
- Author Timothy J. Killeen is an academic and expert who, since the 1980s, has studied the rainforests of Brazil and Bolivia, where he lived for more than 35 years.
- Chronicling the efforts of nine Amazonian countries to curb deforestation, this edition provides an overview of the topics most relevant to the conservation of the region’s biodiversity, ecosystem services and Indigenous cultures, as well as a description of the conventional and sustainable development models that are vying for space within the regional economy.
- Click the “A Perfect Storm in the Amazon” link atop this page to see chapters 1-13 as they are published during 2023.

In the Amazon, global competition drives bulk transport systems(Sep 13 2023)
- Mongabay has begun publishing a new edition of the book, “A Perfect Storm in the Amazon,” in short installments and in three languages: Spanish, English and Portuguese.
- Author Timothy J. Killeen is an academic and expert who, since the 1980s, has studied the rainforests of Brazil and Bolivia, where he lived for more than 35 years.
- Chronicling the efforts of nine Amazonian countries to curb deforestation, this edition provides an overview of the topics most relevant to the conservation of the region’s biodiversity, ecosystem services and Indigenous cultures, as well as a description of the conventional and sustainable development models that are vying for space within the regional economy.
- Click the “A Perfect Storm in the Amazon” link atop this page to see chapters 1-13 as they are published during 2023.

‘We don’t have much time’: Q&A with climate scientist Pierre Friedlingstein(Sep 13 2023)
- “It’s not going in the right direction yet,” Pierre Friedlingstein tells Mongabay of the effort to meet the Paris Agreement goals; a member of the IPCC and a climate professor, he says he’s mildly optimistic about the trend in global emissions.
——Friedlingstein说他希望森林砍伐will go down in the coming years in Brazil, but he’s not sure that Indonesia, another major global carbon sink, is ready to go in the right direction at the moment.
- He says the COVID-19 pandemic showed that climate is still “not on the top of the list” of government priorities, given that all nations sought to boost economic growth after lockdowns, despite the carbon emissions they incurred.

The future of hydropower in the Pan Amazon(Sep 12 2023)
- Mongabay has begun publishing a new edition of the book, “A Perfect Storm in the Amazon,” in short installments and in three languages: Spanish, English and Portuguese.
- Author Timothy J. Killeen is an academic and expert who, since the 1980s, has studied the rainforests of Brazil and Bolivia, where he lived for more than 35 years.
- Chronicling the efforts of nine Amazonian countries to curb deforestation, this edition provides an overview of the topics most relevant to the conservation of the region’s biodiversity, ecosystem services and Indigenous cultures, as well as a description of the conventional and sustainable development models that are vying for space within the regional economy.
- Click the “A Perfect Storm in the Amazon” link atop this page to see chapters 1-13 as they are published during 2023.

Deforestation in the Amazon rainforest continues to plunge(Sep 8 2023)
- Deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon continues to decline, according to data released today by Brazil’s national space research institute, INPE.
- INPE’s deforestation alert system indicates that forest clearing in Brazil’s portion of the Amazon in August declined 66% compared to the same month last year.
- Deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon has seen a decrease for five consecutive months. This follows President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva’s commitment to curb the escalating forest loss in the region.
- Brazil is set to release its annual assessment of deforestation for the year ending July 31 in the coming weeks.

Hydropower in the Pan Amazon: An overview of the private energy sector in Ecuador and China’s role(Sep 6 2023)
- Mongabay has begun publishing a new edition of the book, “A Perfect Storm in the Amazon,” in short installments and in three languages: Spanish, English and Portuguese.
- Author Timothy J. Killeen is an academic and expert who, since the 1980s, has studied the rainforests of Brazil and Bolivia, where he lived for more than 35 years.
- Chronicling the efforts of nine Amazonian countries to curb deforestation, this edition provides an overview of the topics most relevant to the conservation of the region’s biodiversity, ecosystem services and Indigenous cultures, as well as a description of the conventional and sustainable development models that are vying for space within the regional economy.
- Click the “A Perfect Storm in the Amazon” link atop this page to see chapters 1-13 as they are published during 2023.

Hydropower in the Pan Amazon: A look at the private energy sector in Peru(Sep 5 2023)
- Mongabay has begun publishing a new edition of the book, “A Perfect Storm in the Amazon,” in short installments and in three languages: Spanish, English and Portuguese.
- Author Timothy J. Killeen is an academic and expert who, since the 1980s, has studied the rainforests of Brazil and Bolivia, where he lived for more than 35 years.
- Chronicling the efforts of nine Amazonian countries to curb deforestation, this edition provides an overview of the topics most relevant to the conservation of the region’s biodiversity, ecosystem services and Indigenous cultures, as well as a description of the conventional and sustainable development models that are vying for space within the regional economy.
- Click the “A Perfect Storm in the Amazon” link atop this page to see chapters 1-13 as they are published during 2023.

How the Amazon’s ‘greatest devastator’ sold cattle to a Carrefour supplier(Aug 29 2023)
- Arrested by Brazilian Federal Police, cattle rancher Bruno Heller and relatives have already received over $5 million in environmental fines. He is also suspected of land grabbing.
- Heller transported cattle from a family farm fined for environmental violations to two other properties free from environmental implications — this maneuver is an indication of the so-called “cattle laundering.”
- A Frialto Group meatpacking plant confirmed that it slaughtered 249 animals for the Heller family. The facility supplies Carrefour, but the French retail company states that the meat from animals raised by Heller did not reach its supermarkets.

Brazilian Indigenous artists take the forest to the world(Aug 29 2023)
- In recent years, several exhibitions held abroad have featured Indigenous people from Brazil and Latin America, giving unprecedented visibility to artists historically erased by gallery owners and museums.
- Some examples include Siamo Foresta in Milan; The Yanomami Struggle in New York, and BEĨ: Benches of Brazilian Indigenous Peoples in Japan.
- According to curators, the works transcend a mere aesthetic vision, being deeply connected to each people’s cosmologies, in addition to taking political and socioenvironmental issues into museums and galleries.

Hydropower in the Pan Amazon: Río Trombetas and Calha Norte(Aug 29 2023)
- Mongabay has begun publishing a new edition of the book, “A Perfect Storm in the Amazon,” in short installments and in three languages: Spanish, English and Portuguese.
- Author Timothy J. Killeen is an academic and expert who, since the 1980s, has studied the rainforests of Brazil and Bolivia, where he lived for more than 35 years.
- Chronicling the efforts of nine Amazonian countries to curb deforestation, this edition provides an overview of the topics most relevant to the conservation of the region’s biodiversity, ecosystem services and Indigenous cultures, as well as a description of the conventional and sustainable development models that are vying for space within the regional economy.
- Click the “A Perfect Storm in the Amazon” link atop this page to see chapters 1-13 as they are published during 2023.

Hydropower in the Pan Amazon: The Tapajós Basin and the prevalence of Indigenous rights(Aug 25 2023)
- Mongabay has begun publishing a new edition of the book, “A Perfect Storm in the Amazon,” in short installments and in three languages: Spanish, English and Portuguese.
- Author Timothy J. Killeen is an academic and expert who, since the 1980s, has studied the rainforests of Brazil and Bolivia, where he lived for more than 35 years.
- Chronicling the efforts of nine Amazonian countries to curb deforestation, this edition provides an overview of the topics most relevant to the conservation of the region’s biodiversity, ecosystem services and Indigenous cultures, as well as a description of the conventional and sustainable development models that are vying for space within the regional economy.
- Click the “A Perfect Storm in the Amazon” link atop this page to see chapters 1-13 as they are published during 2023.

Hydropower in the Pan Amazon: Belo Monte and the Río Xingu(Aug 24 2023)
- Mongabay has begun publishing a new edition of the book, “A Perfect Storm in the Amazon,” in short installments and in three languages: Spanish, English and Portuguese.
- Author Timothy J. Killeen is an academic and expert who, since the 1980s, has studied the rainforests of Brazil and Bolivia, where he lived for more than 35 years.
- Chronicling the efforts of nine Amazonian countries to curb deforestation, this edition provides an overview of the topics most relevant to the conservation of the region’s biodiversity, ecosystem services and Indigenous cultures, as well as a description of the conventional and sustainable development models that are vying for space within the regional economy.
- Click the “A Perfect Storm in the Amazon” link atop this page to see chapters 1-13 as they are published during 2023.

A tale of two biomes as deforestation surges in Cerrado but wanes in Amazon(Aug 23 2023)
- Brazil has managed to bring down spiraling rates of deforestation in the Amazon Rainforest in the first half of this year, but the neighboring Cerrado savanna has seen a wave of environmental destruction during the same period.
- The country’s second largest biome, the Cerrado is seeing its highest deforestation figure since 2018; satellite data show 3,281 hectares (8,107 acres) per day have been cleared since the start of the year through Aug. 4.
- The leading causes of the rising deforestation rates in the Cerrado are a disparity in conservation efforts across Brazil’s biomes, an unsustainable economic model that prioritizes monocultures, and escalating levels of illegal native vegetation clearing.
- Given the importance of the Cerrado to replenish watersheds across the continent, its destruction would affect not just Brazil but South America too, experts warn, adding that the region’s water, food and energy security are at stake.