白皮书
已发布: 27 二月 2024

The Cerrado: Production and Protection

The Cerrado is the second largest biome in Latin America and the most biodiverse savanna in the world. Yet it has lost half its native vegetation to agriculture – and conversion is accelerating. Urgent action is needed to balance production with protection, in a way that delivers gains for climate, nature and people.

The Cerrado is the second largest biome in Latin America and the most biodiverse savanna in the world. Yet it has lost half its native vegetation to agriculture – and conversion is accelerating. Urgent action is needed to balance production with protection, in a way that delivers gains for climate, nature and people.

The Cerrado made headlines as an agricultural miracle in the 2010s. It became the leading production hub in Brazil for global exports of soy, cattle, corn and sugarcane, representing 60% of Brazil’s total agricultural output.

Yet over 30 million hectares of the Cerrado’s native savanna have been converted in recent decades, threatening its vital roles as carbon sink, freshwater source, home for Indigenous peoples and haven for 5% of all species on Earth.

In 2023, conversion in the Cerrado accelerated by 43% on the year before, even as deforestation in the neighbouring Amazon reduced by 62%. But, as this report shows, experience on the ground demonstrates ways to align the production and protection agendas, to safeguard the natural capital of this critical biome while continuing to support economic development.

On the production side, sustainable intensification of agriculture on existing productive land – as well as regenerating degraded land – could add up to $40 billion more annually to Brazil’s GDP, while well-designed renewable energy and green industry projects could add another $11 billion.

On the protection side, further conversion of the Cerrado must be drastically reduced, through a combination of law enforcement to prevent illegal conversion and financial incentives for landowners to conserve the existing 30+ million hectares of private land that could be legally converted. In addition, opportunities in global carbon markets and the bioeconomy could contribute up to $21 billion to the country’s GDP.

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