Brazil's deforestation fallen by more than 2.5% in five years
The numbers are from the Brazilian Land Coverage and Use Map, released by the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE).
The study points out a 4.6% change in land coverage in Brazil over the last three years of the study, with a slight increase from the 3.5% change rate seen between 2010 and 2012.
The survey points out that, in general, agriculture, managed pastures, forestry and artificial areas continued expanding, as did areas with non-tree natural vegetation predominant in the Cerrado and Caatinga biomes as well as in the gaucho pampas.
The reduction of natural pastures intensified from 7.8% (2010-2012) to 9.4% (2012-2014). “There is a clear trend for expansion of agricultural and managed pasture areas, especially in natural pasture areas," says the IBGE.
Areas focused on forestry (planted forests) saw a significant 23.8% increase from 2012 to 2014, compared to a 4.6% increase in the previous three-year period. The report indicates that forestry areas have grown especially in the pasture areas (natural or managed).
According to the technical analysis, technical improvements in mapping methods accounted for about 50% of the "significant increase" in forestry areas, as technicians had access to better-quality images for 2014, with less clouds obfuscating areas in some regions of the country (such as the Northeast coast).
In contrast, the report found further expansion of agricultural use areas, with growth rates almost at the same level as those for the previous triennium (8.6% for 2010-2012 and 8.2% from 2012-2014).
There was also a significant decrease in the growth rate of managed pastures, from 11.1% (2010-2012) to 4.5% (2012-2014).
According to the IBGE report, "this slowdown is linked mainly to the conversion of grasslands to agricultural land and (to a lesser extent) forestry areas”.
What to read next