Reducing Deforestation in Brazil
Tackling deforestation in Brazil requires addressing the key drivers of deforestation, including extensive cattle ranching, land grabbing, and illegal logging. Converting land for crop production is a key driver in the Cerrado. Estimates show that about 70 percent of deforested land in the Amazon is used for cattle ranching, the result of weak law enforcement, poor land governance, and macroeconomic drivers, such as commodity prices and demand, and real exchange rates. Although environmental policies are the responsibility of state and federal governments, municipalities must also be involved in addressing the key drivers of deforestation through their local policies and can influence the extent of land grabbing or illegal logging. Brazil has successfully curbed deforestation in the past. From 2004 to 2012, during the commodity boom, the country’s environmental policies succeeded in curbing deforestation rates by 84 percent. Many researchers credit the Plan for the Prevention and Control of Deforestation in the Legal Amazon (PPCDAm) and enforcement of the Forest Code for the reduction in deforestation.