By Nielmar de Oliveira
Image Attribute: Amazon Deforestation, Matt Zimmerman under a Creative Commons Licence
The Map of Land Use and Land Cover in Brazil, which contains data up to 2014, reveals deforestation in the country has decreased significantly. After falling 1.8% from 2010 to 2012, it has diminished a further 0.8% between 2012 and 2014.
The map, published by the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE), is a comprehensive report on changes in land cover and use, providing commentary, tables, and charts and graphs derived from the interpretation of satellite imagery obtained in 2014, as well as field surveys and related information from throughout the country.
The overall trend pointed out in the report was the continued expansion of agriculture, managed grazing, and forestry, as well as a reduction in areas with natural, non-arboreous vegetation, such as dominant in the Cerrado and Caatinga biomes (central and Northeast Brazil) and the pampas (in the Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil's southernmost state, and over the borders with Argentina and Uruguay).
Natural pasture land is diminishing at a faster pace (9,4% in 2012-2014, compared to 7.8% in 2010-2012). “Agricultural areas and managed pastures are expanding mainly over natural pasture land,” the IBGE reported.
Another important finding in the IBGE report was the fast expansion of silviculture (planted forest) areas—23,8% from 2012 to 2014, compared to the 4.6% increase of the previous period.
Forestry has expanded especially in pasture areas—whether natural or managed. According to analysts responsible for the study, enhancements in mapping technology have accounted for about 50% of the “fast expansion” of forestry areas, with better-quality imagery captured in 2014 and cloud reduction in some regions of the country, such as the Northeast coast.
On the other hand, areas used for agriculture have continued to expand, although at a slightly lower growth rate of 8.2% in 2012-2014 (compared to 8.6% in 2010-2012).
The growth pace of managed pasture land has also decreased significantly, falling from 11.1% (2010-2012) to 4.5% based on the same comparison terms. According to the IBGE report, “this slowdown is mainly related to the conversion of pasture land into agricultural areas and, to a lesser extent, silviculture areas.”
Translated by Mayra Borges Edited by: Stênio Ribeiro / Nira Foster
(c) 2017 Empresa Brasil de Comunicação S/A - EBC | Creative Commons Atribuição 3.0 Brasil