Tag Archives: Amazon

CPI receives MapBiomas team for workshop on land mapping and use in Brazil

August 17, 2017 |


MapBiomas workshop in CPI in Rio de Janeiro

Project aims at helping researchers with a fast and detailed system

Climate Policy Initiative (CPI) hosted the Brazilian Annual Land Use and Land Cover Mapping Project (MapBiomas) team for a workshop to present the platform and explain how it operates. The event, held in early August at CPI’s office in Rio de Janeiro, gathered researchers, analysts and university faculty from CPI and other institutions including IBGE, FIOCRUZ, BVRio, and UFRJ.

MapBiomas is an initiative that involves a collaborative network of biomes, land use, remote sensing, GIS (Geographic Information System) and computer science experts. It relies on Google Earth Engine platform and its cloud processing and automated classifiers capabilities to map and present dynamics of land use changes in agriculture, farming, forests and urban areas, among others.

In Brazil, CPI works to support policymakers to implement the most effective policies for protecting Brazil’s natural resources while also advancing the nation’s agricultural production.

For CPI executive director Juliano Assunção, MapBiomas greatly expands the volume of information for land use analysis in Brazil and provides an example for other initiatives involving collaborative work. Assunção believes that the project enhance CPI’s research. “CPI focuses its efforts on generating evidence on the effectiveness of policies and their various impacts on Brazilian society. With MapBiomas, we can now investigate dynamics of land use conversion inside and outside the Amazon biome with much more precision,” he says.


Land use and land cover maps, satellite images mosaics, and a public web platform are among the MapBiomas products. According to the coordinator of the project Tasso Azevedo, the platform aims to provide analysts and researchers with the tools needed to analyze data and build on. “We wanted to replace the simple matrix “forest and non-forest” with a more nuanced one. The challenge is and has always been to map in a cheap, fast and historical way”, he says. One of the unique characteristics of MapBiomas is that it classifies using temporal and spatial filters, which can be applied to a more detailed analysis.

MapBiomas provides a series of scientific analyses for the improvement of policies. According to Assunção, besides putting together detailed information on territories, MapBiomas presents the data in an intuitive and comprehensible way. “Although the actual data are not precise for calculating deforestation rates, for example, its potential is huge. For example, important topics such as infrastructure can be studied in depth,” the CPI director says.

Currently, only Brazil develops a mapping of tropical countries and their lands. Nevertheless, it is expected that over the next two years a project like MapBiomas might become a potential investment for other countries. The development of MapBiomas is constant and an updated version, with adjustments in the filters, will be launched soon.

For more information about MapBiomas, see http://mapbiomas.org/.

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Changing land use patterns in Brazil

October 29, 2015 | and


As the demand for food and climate change risk both increase, a new study explores paths to more efficient land use in the country.

As Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff promised to reduce Brazil’s greenhouse gas emissions by 43 per cent by 2030. Brazil became the first major developing country to pledge an absolute reduction in emissions over the next fifteen years. Since the country is an agricultural leader with abundant natural resources, it clearly has many challenges ahead. One of the questions that arises is whether it is possible to simultaneously promote economic growth and improve ecosystem protection within Brazil’s rural landscape.

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How better monitoring and law enforcement saved 59,500 sq. km of the Amazon – an area the size of a small country

May 8, 2013 |


Clarissa Costalonga e Gandour also contributed to this piece.

The Amazon is the world’s largest rainforest, but protecting it from illegal deforestation is a challenge nearly as immense as the forest itself. In a previous study, CPI has discussed explanations for a slowdown in the rate of forest clearings observed in the 2000s. In a new study, DETERring Deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon, we take a step further and answer the question: Which specific policy efforts contributed most to the reduction in Amazon deforestation?

Our analysis reveals that the implementation of the Real Time System for Detection of Deforestation (DETER), a satellite-based system that enables frequent and quick identification of deforestation hot spots, greatly enhanced monitoring and targeting capacity, making it easier for law enforcers to act upon areas with illegal deforestation activity. This improvement in monitoring and law enforcement was the main driver of the 2000s deforestation slowdown.

Prior to the activation of DETER, Amazon monitoring depended on voluntary reports of threatened areas, making it difficult for law enforcement personnel to locate and access deforestation hot spots in a timely manner. With the adoption of the new remote sensing system, however, Brazilian law enforcement personnel were able to better identify, more closely monitor, and more quickly act upon areas with illegal deforestation activity.

Through empirical analysis, we estimate that DETER-based environmental monitoring and law enforcement policies prevented the clearing of over 59,500 km2 of Amazon forest area from 2007 through 2011. Deforestation observed during this period totaled 41,500 km2 – 59% less than in the absence of the policy change.

We also estimate that, in a hypothetical scenario in which monitoring and law enforcement was entirely absent from the Amazon, an additional 122,700 km2 of Amazon forest would have been cleared from 2007 through 2011. To put that figure in context, that’s an area larger than the total land mass of the country of Nicaragua.

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Does credit affect deforestation? Evidence from a rural credit policy in the Brazilian Amazon

March 18, 2013 |


Clarissa Costalonga e Gandour also contributed to this piece, which was originally posted on Climate-Eval.

The deforestation rate in the Brazilian Amazon decreased sharply in the second half of the 2000s, falling from a peak of 27,000 km2 in 2004 to 5,000 km2 in 2011. In a previous CPI/NAPC study [Assunção et al. (2012)], we estimated that conservation policies introduced in the mid to late 2000s prevented the loss of approximately 62,000 km2 of forest in the 2005 through 2009 period. We’ve recently taken a closer look at one of these policies — National Monetary Council Resolution 3,545.

Introduced in mid-2008, Resolution 3,545 placed a condition on rural credit, an important source of financing for rural producers, in the Brazilian Amazon Biome. To get credit, borrowers had to present proof of compliance with environmental regulations, the legitimacy of their land claims, and the regularity of their rural establishments. To prove credit eligibility, Resolution 3,545 required borrowers to present a series of documents. Such documentation, however, varied according to borrower profiles, with small-scale producers subject to less stringent requirements. Resolution 3,545 represented a restriction on official rural credit — and thereby on the fraction of rural credit that is largely subsidized via lower interest rates — while other sources of financing for agricultural activity suffered no such restriction.

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Brazil’s deforestation and conservation policies: A quick video overview

January 31, 2013 |


In this short video, Juliano Assunção, Director of Climate Policy Initiative Rio, discusses Brazil’s deforestation and conservation policies.

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