...exploring how people shape the world's forests

Breaking the link between commodity agriculture and deforestation

A Technical and Networking session on Saturday, held at the Global Landscapes Forum, will discuss ways to encourage farmers to adopt environmentally sustainable practices while launching a new report on the opportunities and challenges for sustainable cattle ranch certification in Brazil.


Deforestation, greenhouse gas emissions and commodity agriculture seem to go hand in hand in the tropics. Production of beef, soybean, cocoa, palm oil and other commodities is increasing rapidly in response to growing global demand. But much of the increase comes at the expense of forests.

In Brazil, for example, over half of the country’s carbon emissions are generated by conversion of Amazonian forest to pasture, according to the Ministry of Science and Technology; cattle ranching may be responsible for three-quarters of forest clearance.

This cannot continue. We urgently need to find ways to encourage farmers to adopt environmentally sustainable practices that reduce agriculture’s contribution to deforestation and climate change. And indeed there are many programmes around the world trying to do just this, with governments, non-governmental organizations, communities and companies all developing institutions and policies, incentives, and information and technology aimed at influencing where and how these commodities are produced.

Read more.

Watch and participate in the presentation at the Global Landscapes Forum on 11/16, at 8am eastern time.


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